Andy Taylor (BSBA 1970) is the 2016 recipient of the John Evans Award, the highest alumni award that the University of Denver (DU) bestows during its annual Founders Celebration. Taylor is executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings, parent company of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.
The Founders Celebration commemorates DU’s establishment on March 5, 1864, and recognizes individuals who have supported the University along the way. The Evans Award recognizes outstanding achievement, humanitarian service and demonstrated continuing interest in DU.
In 2012, Andy and Barbara Taylor gave $5 million to the Daniels College of Business. Taylor and his wife, Barbara (Broadhurst) Taylor (attd. 1969–70), are longtime Daniels supporters. The gift—which was added to the already-established Taylor Scholarship endowment of $1 million—provides scholarships to foster diversity among undergraduate students.
As part of the Founders Celebration events, Daniels held a reception and luncheon to allow Taylor Scholarship recipients to meet and listen to Andy Taylor. DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp asked Taylor questions about his time at DU and his successful business.
“You have to understand who you are and where you want to go,” Taylor said. “I wanted to build a successful business with a lot of fun people.”
Rodney Castillo (MAcc 2017, BSAcc 2016) is one of the Taylor Scholarship recipients. Growing up in South Miami, he worked in nursery, landscaping and construction businesses in middle school and high school. He opened up his own barbershop on the front porch of his parents’ home at the end of his junior year.
When Castillo got a scholarship to attend Miami Dade College, he jumped at the chance. It was the beginning of seeing himself in a bigger career. He earned an Associate of Arts in accounting and got involved in the Accounting Scholars Development Program, sponsored by the School of Accountancy at Daniels, which invites outstanding community college students of African American, Latino and Native American descent from around the country to the University of Denver campus to explore accounting education and careers.
The experience made Castillo want to transfer to DU, but he couldn’t afford it. Thanks to the Taylor Endowed Scholarship, which supports undergraduates at the Daniels College of Business, he was able to make ends meet.
The Taylor family is a longtime supporter of Daniels and the namesake of the Taylor Family Undergraduate Career Services Center. In addition to awarding scholarships, the Taylors also fund internship opportunities for Daniels students, enabling them to receive compensation and course credit for internships. Castillo interned at BetaWest Ltd., a real estate investment trust, and EY LLP, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms and a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.
Castillo was grateful to hear Andy Taylor speak at the luncheon. “It’s really good to see him in person and thank him,” Castillo says. “This scholarship provides me a way to be on campus and have some flexibility.” Castillo has certainly made the most of his time at DU. He is president of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. and a mentor at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School. He says he is able to deepen his engagement because he does not have to work multiple jobs to pay his tuition and living expenses.
“We were given a lot of opportunity,” Taylor said to the scholar recipients during the luncheon. “So we need to give others that opportunity.”
Daniels has awarded 130 Taylor scholarships over the years. The scholarships range between $4,000 and $20,000 annually. Student can apply for the Taylor internship scholarships as they need them each quarter. They are limited to 10 credits during their four years as undergraduate students.
Learn more about the Founders Celebration and view pictures and video from the two-day event. Students can learn more about the Taylor scholarships at Career Services.