- A Tribute to Pat Dwayne Taylor, PhD, FASLA, FCELA (July 7, 1944–September 8, 2018)
In September 2018, CELA lost one of its kindest and most loyal citizens, Professor Pat D. Taylor, to a private battle with cancer. On behalf of CELA and its international constituency, Pat exercised dedication, organizational leadership, and constant moral intelligence. He was a welcome fixture at CELA and ASLA annual meetings, a warm and friendly professional acquaintance with whom many enjoyed collegial discussions on many matters. Pat was also an unfailingly supportive and encouraging mentor who led from just beyond the spotlight, cheering and supporting the success of others.
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It is striking that Pat built a stellar reputation largely through his selflessness—in his teaching, administration, and service activities he was a true “servant leader.” In nominating him for Fellow of the ASLA, supporters wrote, “Many people know Pat as a leading advocate for our profession to relevant disciplines and the public. His leadership and devoted service to professional education continues to enhance the communication among CELA member schools and [has] heightened the public’s awareness. Such proven long-lasting and ongoing leadership is very hard to find.”1
Pat’s story is one of regional and family legacy. A native Texan and the son of a Texas state park superintendent, he reportedly “met his first landscape architect—Capt. Norfleet Bone of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Texas Parks and Wildlife—when Taylor was three years old.”2 He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Parks Administration and Landscape Architecture at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. Pat later completed his PhD in Organizational Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. Pat began his teaching career at Texas Tech (1969–72) and Michigan State (1972–76). He practiced in parks and recreation extension services at Texas A&M (1976–82), institutional development at Texas Tech (1982–85), and private land planning consulting (1985–), before moving back into teaching at Texas A&M University (1991–92). In 1992, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington where he served 24 years as Director of Landscape Architecture (1992–2001–2002–16) in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. Pat’s committed leadership helped sustain that program (now headed by Diane Jones-Allen). [End Page vii]
While bearing full responsibility for program administration, Pat taught regional and landscape planning studios, urban design, research methods, and actively engaged in thesis mentorship. Grounded in interdisciplinary problems in service-learning, Pat’s studio teaching employed highly synthetic teaching and learning strategies. Since 1994, Pat provided research direction for close to 70 graduate theses, of which at least 20 involved funding or forms of professional recognition. He viewed his extraordinary commitment to graduate research as a strategy for advancing the profession. In 2010, colleague David Hopman spoke of Pat’s “many national awards, particularly in the area of graduate research, won by students in the program. This success is the direct result of his determination to make research a high priority in the program and in the profession.”3
Hopman further credits Pat Taylor’s educational strategy for strengthening the program’s position institutionally as well as nationally, writing:
[Pat] has been consistently supportive of collaborative efforts with important institutions in the DFW area such as [t]he Army Corps of Engineers, [t]he Rainwater Charitable [Foundation], The Texas A&M Agr[L]ife [Research and] Extension Center [at Dallas], [t]he National Park Service, and [t]he Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These collaborations have been an integral part of both the student learning experience and faculty development and productivity.4
In general, Pat’s research could be categorized into four topics: a) values in landscape architecture; b) cultural landscapes and environmental preferences; c) landscape research methods; and d) protocols for using academic statistics. Pat’s brainchild and arguably one of his most important research projects was the Academic Information System (AIS). Conceived and developed for CELA beginning in 2001, the AIS serves CELA-member...