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Our History: Featured Alumni/ae: Taylor, Frederick S., 1868

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, members of Congress, ambassadors, educators, business people, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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Frederick Southgate Taylor

Founder, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity; Member, Virginia General Assembly

Frederick Southgate Taylor was born December 16, 1847 and grew up in and around Norfolk, Virginia. His father, the Honorable Tazewell Taylor, was the bursar of The College of William and Mary until his death in 1850. After receiving his A.B. degree from William and Mary, Taylor entered the University of Virginia in the Autumn of 1867. Taylor stayed at 47 West Range until 1869, studying law. On March 1, 1868, at 47 West Range, Pi Kappa Alpha was founded by Frederick Southgate Taylor, his cousin and roommate Littleton Waller Tazewell Bradford, and four other students. He is thought to have written the early ritual.

Upon graduation Taylor continued to study law but never practiced it as a profession. He devoted himself primarily to commercial enterprises and politics, amassing a small fortune through real estate. Representing Norfolk in the Virginia General Assembly for two terms, Taylor then served as President of the Common Council of Norfolk, a position similar to the office of mayor. Always thought of as an outstanding philanthropist and citizen, Taylor made this reputation through using his fortune generously for community service initiatives. On February 16, 1896, Taylor died at the age of 49 while talking with an associate on the street in Norfolk. He was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, along with his cousin and fellow Pi Kappa Alpha founder Littleton Bradford.


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