The Taylor Institute building was made possible by a $40 million donation from the Taylor Family Foundation.
Don and Ruth Taylor share a passion for inspiring students and supporting the development of university teachers. Ruth is a former teacher, school counsellor and vice-principal, and Don vividly recalls his own struggles as a student and as a young sessional instructor. That shared passion led to the Taylor’s extraordinary gift to provide a building for the Taylor Institute.
“We have always been in favour of enhancing teaching skills at the university level, and have come to understand that the learning process is an integral part. We find this teaching and learning initiative to be an exciting challenge,” said Don Taylor during the event to announce the donation.
Don Taylor came to Calgary at the age of two after drought drove his family off their farm in Barons, Alta. He joined the Calgary-based company Engineered Air in 1967, building the firm into a Canadian leader in heating, ventilating and air conditioning. In 2008, Don Taylor was inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and in 2016, he was named an officer of the Order of Canada for his life-long career as an innovative entrepreneur and generous philanthropist.
The Taylors are strong supporters of postsecondary education in Alberta. In 2006, they contributed $25 million toward the Taylor Family Digital Library, and in 2012, they created the Katthy Taylor Chair in Vascular Dementia at the University of Calgary. The Taylors also contributed $21 million toward the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts at Mount Royal University.