Death of Elon staff member Madison Taylor

Taylor, development writer in University Advancement, passed away Thursday, Jan. 6, after battling illness for several months.

President Connie Ledoux Book sent the following message to Elon faculty and staff following the death on Jan. 6 of staff member Madison Taylor.

Members of the Elon community are invited to McKinnon E&F on the first floor of the Moseley Center at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, for a Gathering of Friends in memory of Madison. 

Dear colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I share with you that Madison Taylor, development writer in University Advancement at Elon, and husband of Roselee Papandrea Taylor, associate director of university communications for admissions communications, passed away Thursday after battling illness for several months.

A longtime journalist, Madison spent the past five years telling the story of the powerful impact of philanthropy upon the university and its students using his gift for words and passion for connecting with people. Before joining Elon’s staff, Madison had connections to the university in his role as executive editor for the Burlington Times-News, having worked in partnership with the university to promote civic and community engagement among Alamance County residents. It was his support that helped us launch our community dialogues series, and his regular Sunday editorials encouraging people to come out and talk about the topics impacting our community and our lives made all the difference.

Colleagues in University Advancement and University Communications gathered with University Chaplain Kirstin Boswell and other supporting staff this morning, and a community-wide gathering will take place in the coming weeks.

Madison joined University Advancement in January 2017 in the newly-created position of development writer, a role that allowed him to use his skills and strengths as a journalist to demonstrate how scholarships and support for the university were changing the lives of students. During the past five years he authored numerous impact reports for donors that told the story of the power of philanthropy and how new programs and facilities were supporting academic success. He pointed a spotlight on the achievements of alumni, faculty, staff and students in articles for Today at Elon, the university’s news site, and the Magazine of Elon.

An active member of the university community, Madison was a regular at College Coffee and readily volunteered when called upon to assist with events including Move-In Day, Homecoming, Family Weekend, Commencement and other university events. Madison saw each day as a new opportunity to connect with people across the university and to contribute to telling Elon’s story. He was described by a colleague as “the epitome of a co-worker who becomes a friend.”

Madison came to Elon after 34 years as a newspaper reporter, sportswriter, feature writer, page designer and editor, with his last 10 years in the field spent leading the Burlington Times-News. Under his leadership, the newspaper won five awards for public service from the North Carolina Press Association during an eight-year stretch, with Madison winning numerous awards for columns, opinion writing, sports reporting and film or book criticism during his career. Journalism was what brought Madison and Roselee together, and brought the couple to Alamance County.

Madison was an avid reader and lover of films (he studied communications specializing in TV/film production at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), which made for fascinating conversations. But his greatest passion was writing, something he did even in his spare time for his blog, Madison’s Avenue.

Those who knew Madison may benefit from speaking with university chaplains in the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at 336-278-7729. Assistance is also available from Elon’s Employee Assistance Program through MYgroup, which offers free confidential counseling and other resources to employees and their families. Access Mygroup resources by calling (800) 633-3353 and ask to connect with counseling resources.

Madison is survived by his wife of 23 years, Roselee, and their beloved rescue cat, Typo. Messages of sympathy can be sent to 480 Whitt Avenue, Burlington, NC 27215. Information about a celebration of life for Madison at a later date will be shared once arrangements are finalized.

Please join me in sending prayers of thanks for the personal and professional contributions Madison made to this university and this community. Please keep Roselee and all those who knew and loved Madison in your thoughts and may they find peace and consolation during this very difficult time.

In deepest sorrow,