One Family's Rensselaer Legacy
Although Alison Bahr Taylor lives nearly 3,000 miles away on the West Coast, she's close in spirit to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Like most enduring relationships, Alison's connection started small, but it has grown into a beloved lifelong commitment.
It began in 1949, when Alison's father, William, graduated from Rensselaer with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. After he passed away in 1990, Alison's mother, Mary, established a scholarship for mechanical engineering students to honor his memory.
Mary's name was added after her passing in 2005, and the scholarship became the Mary and William Bahr Scholarship. Keeping it all in the family, Alison's son Garrett graduated from Rensselaer in 2012.
Alison gives annually to her parents' scholarship, but a gesture over a decade ago sparked her desire to become more personally involved. She was touched by the words of a program manager who reassured her that every gift is meaningful and does have an impact on students.
Spurred by the university's welcoming environment and how her dad "treasured his education and experience" there, Alison decided to deepen her support and enthusiasm by planning a gift from her estate to her parents' scholarship.
"It's important for me to honor the memory of my parents. I want to do as much as I can for as long as I can," Alison says.
Alison and her husband, Michael, try to attend the Celebration of Support each year to see how her parents' scholarship impacts and open doors for students.
"It makes you realize," she adds, "that your support will help these young people make the world a better place in the future. They will change the world for the better, and it's great to be part of that."