New Vanderbilt scholarship for military academy graduates honors Taylor Force

Taylor Force (Vanderbilt University)

A new scholarship named in honor of Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management student Taylor Force will honor his contributions to both the university and to his country by supporting graduates of the U.S. military academies attending Owen. Force, 28, was killed in a terrorist attack March 8 in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Force was a first-year MBA student and a 2009 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was in Israel as part of an Owen trip to study global entrepreneurship. Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced the scholarship during the Vanderbilt memorial service held for Force on campus March 18. Watch video of the service » 

“Taylor embodied all that we strive for at Vanderbilt: excellence, service to society, leadership and generosity of spirit. In honor of Taylor’s compassionate empowering of others and the value he placed on education, we are creating the Taylor Force Memorial Scholarship,” Zeppos said. “This scholarship is designed to support fellow West Point and other academy graduates who, like Taylor, have demonstrated their abilities and commitment to leadership and service. The Taylor Force Memorial Scholarship ensures that the impact he had on us will continue to inspire future generations of students.” 

The new scholarship will provide financial support to qualified Owen students with first preference given to graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Second preference will be given to graduates of the United States Air Force Academy or the United States Naval Academy.   

Chancellor Zeppos announced the scholarship at the March 18 service.

“For many years, we have actively recruited veterans of the United States Armed Forces to Owen because of their remarkable leadership, their maturity, and their deep-seated understanding that we can only accomplish greatness by leaving our egos at the door. Taylor was the perfect example of why we value such students so highly,” Eric Johnson, Ralph Owen Dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management, said. “This scholarship is a wonderful way to support men and women who, like Taylor, put others first and make our community stronger, smarter and better by building on their military experience with an advanced degree.” 

Force was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2006 on the nomination of Texas Congressman Randy Neugebauer.  After graduation, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the United States Army. He went on to complete one combat tour of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Upon completion of his active duty commitment, Force began the Owen School’s MBA program in August 2015. 

Contributions to the scholarship fund may be sent to: Vanderbilt Gift Processing Office, PMB 407727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7727, attn.: Taylor Force Memorial Scholarship.