Steve Taylor ’79 returns for commencement address

Update: May 15, 2010
Steve Taylor has a strong message for grads — ‘Turn the tide of negativism’
Steven Taylor, a 1979 Business Administration graduate who has gone on to impressive achievements as a financial services professional and community leaders, spoke to an attentive audience as the May 2010 Commencement speaker. His advice was succinct and well-received: “My challenge to you, the Class of 2010, is to turn the tide of negativism.” For a photo and more, go to our commencement coverage.

Taylor’s shorts draw long laugh
Commencement speaker Steve Taylor ’79 said he knew he was supposed to begin his remarks with a joke, but claimed he’s just not a funny guy. All he did next, though, was to pull out his old Phoenix basketball uniform and get the laugh of the day. View photos at our previous post.

Original post: May 5, 2010
Steve Taylor, a 1979 Business Administration graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, has a story to tell about making connections in college and pursuing your life’s ambitions.

He’ll refer to that story, and no doubt share other bits of wisdom, when he delivers the Spring 2010 Commencement Address to an audience of about 800 graduates and roughly 4,000 of their friends and family at the Kress Events Center on Saturday, May 15.

Taylor is a Chicago native who moved north to Green Bay in the 1970s and never looked back. He played basketball for the Phoenix for a few years, found a home here, and has since distinguished himself in service to his alma mater and community.

Taylor is a financial representative for the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. He joined Northwestern Mutual in De Pere in 1987 after several years as a senior buyer for the J.C. Penney Company. He has received numerous industry and company honors, including the National Sales Achievement Award, the National Quality Award, and membership in the Million Dollar Round Table. He is currently in business partnership with his mentor and former UW-Green Bay assistant basketball coach, Charles Aslakson.

Taylor’s involvement with his alma mater is significant. He volunteers time as a career mentor for current UW-Green Bay students, most recently as part of an alumni panel on leadership. He serves on the board of the Phoenix Fund in support of intercollegiate athletics. He partnered with Prof. Andrew Kersten, history students and the National Railroad Museum in developing a major exhibit on civil rights and the Pullman porters, donating his late grandfather’s uniform and railroad memorabilia for display in the widely praised exhibit.

In the community, Taylor serves on the boards of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Inc., Golden House shelter, Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation, Inc., and the National Railroad Museum. He was also in the first class of Leadership Green Bay in 1985. He has served two decades as stage director of the Green Bay Holiday Parade held each November.

Steve is married to Christine Ebsch, whom he met in 1976 after arriving at UW-Green Bay. She is a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Vincent Hospital. They have two children, Nicholas, a doctorial candidate in musicology at Indiana University, and Natalie, graduating with a bachelor’s in exercise science from Winona State University. Natalie will be an intern at UW-Green Bay this fall in strength and conditioning.

The UW-Green Bay Alumni Association recognized Steve Taylor with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.