Alumni Relations

Fred Taylor - An American Hero


When Frederick A. Taylor, Jr. (M.S. in education ’91) shares his list of more than 70 professional and personal accomplishments, he prefaces it with, “These activities show that an ordinary person like me, who grew up in a small town of 1,250 people, can get opportunities to engage in extraordinary life events. It is my sincere belief that people can achieve amazing results, at whatever they choose, if they work hard, stay focused, and maintain a positive attitude.”

Taylor’s list of amazing accomplishments range from multiple visits to the White House to meet with several presidents and high-ranking military officials, to selection as Indiana University’s Outstanding Student Teacher, to recipient of the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash.

This October he was installed as the National Commander of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association this October. For the next two years, he will represent America’s combat infantrymen and their families in an effort to secure their earned benefits and promote respect for those who have served and fought for our nation.

Taylor’s military background began with two years in the Army. During that time, he earned three Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam.

“After I was shot in both legs on June 15, 1968, I was left alone due to the heavy enemy shooting,” said Taylor “My platoon had to pull back to spare them from getting more casualties and I had to treat my own wounds -- gunshot wounds to both legs. I wasn’t sure anyone would come back for me, but I was able to crawl to an area where I could be rescued.” Because of his extensive wounds, he medically retired.

The Army veteran went on to earn a B.S. and an M.S. in education and a Certificate in Public Management-hospital management. He earned the M.S. and the certificate from IPFW.

“When I was earning my undergraduate degree, school was not very pleasant,” said Taylor. “Being a Vietnam veteran, many fellow students were less than kind or respectful of my military background. This was the late 1960s and early 1970s and there was tremendous turmoil on college campuses then. Veterans were not popular or treated nicely at times, and many of my professors were outright antagonistic toward me.”

He persevered, and went on to a successful 20-plus year career in healthcare administration. He remained active in military affairs, touting honors such as U.S. delegate to the World Veteran Council meeting, advisor on a Veteran’s Advisory Committee, and inductee to the Florida Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

Through all his successes, he fondly remembers IPFW. He chose to enroll at the university because, “IPFW really had earned a lot of respect with their program development. I was impressed, so I entered graduate school and really was pleased with the level of education I received at IPFW.”

In regard to veteran affairs at universities, Taylor says, “Today, it seems that universities are much friendlier to veterans and offer services to aid them in their education and transition to civilian life. I am very pleased that today’s veterans are treated much better than veterans of my time were treated.”For now, the Massachusetts-born Mastodon spends time with his wife, Patty Yoder Taylor, traveling between homes in Indiana and Florida. When he’s not representing combat infantrymen, traveling to speaking engagements, or consulting, he plays golf, reads, and spends time with his eight children.