Ceremony to honor Merced College's new president

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comApril 23, 2013 

Merced College will hold an inauguration ceremony Friday for its new president, Ronald Taylor.

Taylor is the community college's sixth president-superintendent, according to Robin Shepard, executive director of the Merced College Foundation.

The inauguration ceremony will take place in the Merced College Theater at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Learning Resources Center.

Shepard said tickets for the luncheon sold out quickly, with more than 320 people set to attend. Taylor is expected to deliver his State of the College address at the luncheon.

Taylor is replacing former President Ben Duran, who announced his retirement October 2011. Duran, who spent 40 years as an educator in Merced County, became the college's president in 1998.

Before coming to Merced College in June of last year, Taylor worked as president of Feather River College in Quincy, according to his biography. He has worked as vice president of academic services at Chabot College, dean of instruction at Reedley College and as assistant dean of instruction for the School of Letters and Social Sciences at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Taylor, who began his career teaching English in Japan, is also known for his focus on college planning and budgeting, according to a news release.

During the inauguration, Taylor and the Merced College Foundation will honor college benefactors Don and Betty Stewart with the President's Medallion Award, according to the release.

The ceremony, which is expected to last until 2:30 p.m., will conclude with the Merced College concert band presenting a musical history of the United States.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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