Let Inside NAU take you back in time this summer with tidbits of university history.

The Taylor tale

Almon Nicholas Taylor became the president of Northern Arizona Normal School in 1899 and presented its first diplomas to four graduates in 1901.

Born to a grape-farming family in New York, Taylor lost his father at an early age and became determined to become educated. Although work on the farm caused his studies to be irregular, he managed to get through high school and earn a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1882. About a year later, he decided to become a teacher. Trustees for the school chose Taylor based on his excellent reputation as an instructor and administrator.

While president, Taylor established a teacher training program and began the library. When politicians thought the school should close for financial reasons, Taylor fought to keep it open. In 1909, he retired, relocating back to a New York grape farm. Taylor died in 1936. Taylor Hall on north campus is named in his honor.

Photo courtesy of Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives. (NAU.ARC.1899-3-1).