Redbird legacy: The Taylor sisters
Growing up in the small Illinois community of Bartlett, the Taylor sisters wanted a warm campus where they could easily transition to college life. All three found that and so much more at ISU.
Laury (Taylor) Patwardhan ’76, was the first of the three girls to attend, continuing a family connection that began with two aunts.
“They were educators and they told me it was a good school,” Laury said. A German major interested in international activities, she knew Illinois State was a good fit for her academically and financially.
Laury soon met Pat Patwardhan, M.S. ’76, a graduate speech communication student from India. Both worked in the Fell Hall dining center. They started dating and eventually married. Now in North Ridgeville, Ohio, he teaches business administration at Cuyahoga Community College and she is an IBM marketing manager.
Based on Laury’s experience, her two sisters chose Illinois State as well. Cara (Taylor) Sermeno ’83, arrived interested in education but completed a degree in sociology. “I’m the strangest sister, as I changed my major 10 times,” said Cara of Arlington Heights. Her fond campus memories include living in Atkin-Colby and working in Feeney. She remains in food service today, working as a general manager at a Chili’s franchise.
Beth (Taylor) Worley ’85 recalls that her decision to study economics at Illinois State was “a natural progression.” Like her sisters, she found it easy to become immersed in activities and her studies, which prepared her for a career in direct marketing. She works with the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing and lives in Elburn.
The family’s connection continues to grow, as Cara’s daughter has completed community college classes and will continue her education at Illinois State this fall.