(Feb. 11, 1913-Sept. 23, 2000). Born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, Joseph T. Taylor earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois. During World War II, Taylor served in the U. S. Army’s all-Black 999th Field Artillery Battalion that fought on the battlefields of France, Germany, and Belgium. Following the conflict, he married Hertha Mae Ward, with whom he had three children. He earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University (IU) in 1952.

After teaching at Florida A & M College and Dillard University, Taylor moved to Indianapolis in 1957 to become the director of program development at the African American social services agency Flanner House. Taylor joined IU as an associate professor of sociology in 1962, at the university’s Indianapolis location. He served as dean of the Indianapolis Regional Campus from 1967 to 1970 and as the first dean of the newly established IU School of Liberal Arts at indiana university—purdue university at indianapolis (IUPUI) from 1970 to 1978. He continued to work closely with the university as a sociology professor until 1984. His dedication to education also led him to work with Indianapolis Public Schools to end segregation.

The Indianapolis community and IUPUI honored Taylor’s contributions and leadership. In 2008, University College on the campus of IUPUI became Joseph T. Taylor Hall. The local chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History bears his name.

The IUPUI School of Liberal Arts has hosted the Joseph T. Taylor Symposium annually since 1989. The symposium “examines issues of interest in urban America and among communities of color.”

Revised March 2021

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