Building on a ‘Divine Design’

WEST LIBERTY – Some people might call it coincidence, but when the Taylor family discovered West Liberty University was building the future Campbell Hall of Health Sciences, they knew it was really “divine design.”

Glen Dale residents Rob Taylor, Brianne Young and Molly Taylor were discussing how to honor the life of their wife and mother, Jan Taylor, as the first anniversary of her passing drew near. Before her death last June after a five-week battle with liver cancer, Jan worked as a dental hygienist in the Ohio Valley for almost four decades. So the family knew they wanted to somehow give back to the profession she loved.

Jan graduated from what was West Liberty State College in 1976 from the school’s dental hygiene program and worked for Dr. James S. Wilson in Glen Dale for almost 40 years, first as an assistant and then as a dental hygienist. To honor her career and her alma mater, the Taylor family contacted West Liberty University to discuss the best way to honor Jan.

“We had thoughts of a scholarship, but they just so happened to be constructing a new building that’s going to house the new dental hygiene program.”

After exploring their options, the family decided to raise funds for a $25,000 operatory in the new dental hygiene facility. The Jan Taylor Dental Hygiene Operatory will be a station located in the health sciences building that will provide the full equipment including a chair, sink, light and instrument tray.

“Everything just fell into place,” Rob Taylor said. “It just seemed like the thing to do. I keep quoting one of her nurses who, instead of calling it a coincidence, she would say it was ‘divine design.’ That’s what I said this was.”

According to Molly Taylor, Jan “loved every minute of her job and would have worked forever.” Jan never thought of retiring and worked even during the beginning of her sickness.

Jan’s family described her as an “avid yard saler” who would map out her Saturdays every Friday night to prepare for a long day of scouting yard sales. Through this hobby, Young said, Jan met numerous friends, many of which the family wasn’t even aware.

“She lived in three to four worlds,” Rob Taylor said. “She was active in dental hygiene and she contributed to the alumni association at WLU and was active in the church. She wore many hats.”

Through the family and donations from the many people who knew Jan, the school has raised about $15,000 for the station so far. The goal is to reach $25,000 for a full operatory by November before the opening of the building.

To make a contribution to the Jan Taylor Dental Hygiene Operatory send checks to the West Liberty University Foundation, 208 University Dr., College Union Box 126, West Liberty, WV 26074. To pay with a credit card, call Angela Zambito Hill at 304-336-8490.