A crowd of campus dignitaries, alumni and a number of current Eagle student-athletes and members of Phi Sigma Kappa helped American University celebrate the naming of Dick Taylor Diamond last Saturday morning.
Dick Taylor, 91 years old, played baseball for the Eagles and graduated from AU in 1952. He was known for his strong pitching skills on the field and for his admirable character and friendliness around campus. Taylor played for legendary AU coach and administrator Stafford "Pop" Cassell and was inducted into the university's Cassell Hall of Fame in 1972.
The naming celebration was spearheaded by the leadership and generosity of AU Board of Trustee Chairman and class of 1977 alumnus Jack Cassell. Cassell spoke to the gathered guests about his longtime friendship with Taylor and the admiration that he, the Cassell family and the entire AU community hold for him.
President Sylvia Burwell reflected on Taylor as an example of living the university motto of "Once An Eagle, Always an Eagle", noting his longtime contributions to and his love for his alma mater. Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Billy Walker was master of ceremonies and the event concluded with Taylor throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.
Following the dedication, Phi Sigma Kappa played its annual softball game at the field, now named for one of its fraternity brothers.
A permanent plaque will be installed at the field, honoring Taylor's longtime service and involvement at American.