The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has chosen Phyllis Taylor and Dr. Nick Mueller as this year’s A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Winners. Mrs. Taylor and Dr. Mueller embody the award’s prestige and philanthropic commitment to the community. “Award recipients are people who care not just for themselves today, but for the children and grandchildren of tomorrow,” says Nancy B. Timm, ADL South-Central Regional Board Chair, “who care enough to translate caring into action, who strive to build a future in which every citizen will share the fruits of democracy.”
Phyllis Taylor is a leader in philanthropic engagement in New Orleans and has been an ardent supporter of education initiatives that have been transformational to the city and state’s educational landscape. With her late husband, Patrick F. Taylor—an ADL Torch of Liberty Honoree from 1989—Phyllis Taylor has worked to see the continuance of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, an innovative program that provides access to college for all high school graduates of Louisiana that meet the certain core curriculum standards. Taylor is chairwoman of Endeavor Enterprises L.L.C. and Taylor Energy Company LLC. She also chairs the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, which has benefited numerous education, public safety, and humanitarian efforts across the Greater New Orleans area since 1985. Taylor is an important role model for the business community, and her voice in education is key to a city like New Orleans that is touted nationally as a laboratory for education reform.
Dr. Nick Mueller has achieved a remarkable impact in his role as President and CEO of The National World War II Museum, an institution that is facing a $325 million expansion as it secures a place among the world’s top museums. The museum sees millions of visitors and has been ranked by TripAdvisor as the #1 attraction in New Orleans, the #4 museum in the nation, and the #11 museum worldwide. In addition to its exciting permanent exhibitions and innovative education programs, the museum teaches about the meaning of the war effort in defending individual rights and democratic institutions, and will explore these themes in the coming Liberation Pavilion. The museum has long hosted ADL’s Echoes and Reflections program, a Holocaust curriculum for educators. Dr. Mueller enjoyed a 33-year career as a professor of history and administrator at the University of New Orleans prior to his work at the museum, and now devotes his academic leadership skills to advancing the public good.
“Mrs. Taylor and Dr. Mueller are truly inspirational individuals,” says Dr. Allison Padilla-Goodman, ADL South-Central Regional Director. “They are leaders in defining the future of New Orleans and have made immense contributions to defining our educational landscape.”
The award will be presented at the annual A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award Dinner at the Hyatt Regency of New Orleans onDecember 1, 2015. Tickets are available by contacting the local ADL office at email@example.com or 504-780-5602.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.