Sociology’s Executive Committee hosted Dr. Taylor’s Chair Appreciation gathering May 3 at Morgan Library. Laura Raynolds presented Pete Taylor with a speaking trumpet commemorating his strong leadership during the pandemic (and his former volunteer service leading his local community’s fire crew) and a peace lily recognizing his dedication to the department’s growth throughout his tenure. Bridget Julian was applauded for standing in solidarity with Pete over the years.

Inspired by a serendipitous fortune cookie, Pat Mahoney offered remarks around “Courage is grace under pressure.” He noted Pete keeping his promise that no one in the department would lose their job amidst uncertainties brought on by the pandemic. Pat recalled Pete saying his most important task as Chair was to “help advance the careers and professional aspirations of department members.” Throughout Pete’s seven years as Chair, tenure and promotion has been granted to five assistant professors, one associate professor, and four CCAF colleagues. During that same timeframe, Sociology faculty have received over 40 awards at college, campus, or professional levels.

Pat also noted Pete’s legacies of rewriting the department code to elevate non-tenured faculty, creating Graduate Teaching Instructor (GTI) positions to allocate resources for Sociology’s talented and dedicated Ph.D. students, launching a communications position to build community and tell our Department’s many impactful stories, launching Sociology’s first online degree to expand opportunities for all types of students, and effectively communicating to the Dean’s office Sociology’s need for six replacement and one new tenure lines and one non-tenure hire – all since 2016 and all while also elevating the institutional stature of the department.

Dean WithersLLC Chair Jonathan CarlyonElena Windsong, Jason Downing, and Prabha Unnithan also spoke briefly about the far-reaching impact of Pete’s many contributions. Pete responded with gratitude and offered words of inspiration for the Department to continue to overcome challenges together while doing important work that truly matters.

Executive Committee members KuoRay Mao, Pat Mahoney, Tony Roberts, and Joshua Sbicca sincerely thank Department members and CLA guests for honoring Pete and his outstanding service from 2016 to 2023.

Pat Mahoney offering remarks during the Chair Appreciation   Elena speaking crowd Pete Taylor and Bridget Julian   Pete's trumpet and plant