Taylor Anderson Memorial Service
Remarks by President Robert R. Lindgren
April 7, 2011
At its essence, Randolph-Macon College is a close-knit family, and the loss of any
family member – be they faculty, staff, student or alumna – is deeply felt by all
of us. Such is the case with Taylor Anderson.
The entire Randolph-Macon community shares the profound grief of Taylor’s family,
of her sorority sisters and close friends, and of all those persons whose lives
she has touched both home and abroad.
Tragedies like this one are stark reminders of the value and power of faith, of
family and of friendship.
However, today, we are moved to celebrate her life and how amazingly rich it was
for someone so young.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years.”
Albeit short, Taylor’s life was a classic example of a life remarkably well lived.
She reached beyond herself, inspiring others in the process, and became a role model
for those who knew her.
She listened to her heart, followed her passion, invested in the well-being of others,
and shared her humanity freely. Her level of selflessness is rare indeed and something
to be greatly cherished.
I think of all of those children in Japan who benefitted from her caring and gifted
And I most of all reflect upon her final, splendid, utterly gracious act – that
act of insuring that each and every one of her students was safely in the custody
of their parents, before Taylor herself saw fit to leave her school and climbed
onto her bicycle for that last fateful journey.
The motto of St. Catherine’s School strikes me as a most appropriate characterization
of Taylor’s life. What we keep, we lose; only what we give remains our own.
I marvel at the leadership qualities Taylor displayed at St. Cats, and I feel blessed
that she shared her extraordinary humanity with us here at R-MC.
We are all better for her presence with us, and for that we are most grateful. And
we are all even stronger for her memory, and to that and to all the good she stood
for, we too shall be forever dedicated.
Not many years ago, a physician at Johns Hopkins had a six-year-old son who developed
leukemia. After a valiant struggle and despite his doctors’ very best efforts, the
young boy died.
And the father came to realize that the only absolutely sure thing he had in his
relationship with his son, was his enduring love for him.
And so he wrote about his experience, and in particular, he wrote this to other
parents who grieve:
May we all find peace in the shared hope that our children who brought us such joy
with their short lives are now a host of angels, loving us still, feeling our love
for them, awaiting our coming, and knowing that they are safely locked forever in
Today, we feel intensely the loss of Taylor Anderson. But we can be sure that the
love her family and her friends have for her will not diminish, and we take comfort
in knowing that love will continue to live on, as long as we remain.
On behalf of the Randolph-Macon College community, I extend to the Anderson family
and all of Taylor’s friends…our thoughts, prayers and support always.
God Bless you.