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UC’s Taylor Meadows and two new Mountain Outreach homes are dedicated


Dr. and Mrs. Monroe Trout of Knoxville provided a grant through the Monroe and Sandra Trout Endowment to develop Taylor Meadows, where homes will be built by Mountain Outreach, a service organization of University of the Cumberlands. Pictured at the dedication of the property and the first two houses are: (left to right) Dr. Jim Taylor, president of UC, Mrs. Dinah Taylor, Mrs. Sandra Trout and Dr. Monroe Trout.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — On Sept. 25, the University of the Cumberlands held a dedication ceremony for two new Mountain Outreach homes, built during the summer, and for Taylor Meadows, where the homes are located. Taylor Meadows and the homes were made possible by a grant from the Sandra and Monroe Trout Endowment.

These first two homes in Taylor Meadows, on Little Cane Creek, were constructed by Mountain Outreach students and two “super teams” from Clemmons Baptist Church, Clemmons, South Carolina, and College Park Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They are the 128th and 129th homes built by Mountain Outreach.


Pictured beside the dedication plaque at the entrance to one of the new Mountain Outreach homes in Taylor Meadows is Sally Ralston Scotes, daughter of Mrs. Ethel Rolston, one of the four teachers honored by Dr. and Mrs. Monroe Trout through the Monroe and Sandra Trout Endowment.

In 2006, Dr. and Mrs. Monroe Trout of Knoxville established the Sandra and Monroe Trout Endowment for the Mountain Outreach Program to honor Dr. Jim Taylor, president of University of the Cumberlands, and his wife, Dinah, as well as to honor four of Dr. Trout’s high school teachers, who had a profound effect on his life.

Addressing the group of approximately fifty faculty and staff members, Mountain Outreach students, local business people, friends and new home owners, Dr. Trout touchingly told of his struggles as one of the middle children in a family of fourteen brothers and sisters, growing up in Harrisburg, Penn., during the Great Depression. “I remember very vividly when I was five years old, standing in line to get enough cornmeal to make mush.”

Dr. Trout credits his success to the influence of his Latin teacher, Ms. Elva Lippi; math teacher, Ms. Elizabeth Watts; English teacher, Mrs. Ethel Rolston; and gym teacher, Mr. Tony Wilsbach. Lippi, an extremely intelligent woman, dedicated her life to teaching and caring for others, setting the impressionable Trout a valuable example of a service-centered life. Watts, a stern individual with a caring heart, who knew numerous powerful people, saw to it that Trout received scholarships to help him become the first in his family to attend college, after becoming his family’s first high school graduate. Rolston encouraged Trout to enter a state essay contest sponsored by the Colonial Dames of America, and his winning essay, “Seward’s Folly,” earned him a free visit to Philadelphia, his first trip away from Harrisburg. Wilsbach bought him the first suit he had ever owned to wear when he went away to college. It was from these teachers, who were not wealthy, but who willingly helped others, that Trout said he learned, “There is no shame in being poor. There is shame, however, in being rich and not trying to help your fellow man and make this world a better place to live in.”

The Trouts, who have supported Mountain Outreach since 1990, have worked throughout their lives to help others, and in 2004, they were named Knoxville Philanthropists of the Year.

Mountain Outreach is a service organization of University of the Cumberlands. Beginning in the 1980’s, this program grew from a grass-roots effort by students who wanted to improve housing for some area families. Church groups from several states come to help each summer, but students in the program work all year, making home repairs, building wheel-chair ramps and performing many other jobs for individuals and families who, who for physical or financial reasons, might not be able to do the work themselves.