Vanderbilt honors slain student with scholarship
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University on Friday announced a new scholarship to the Owen Graduate School of Management in honor of Taylor Force, the Vanderbilt graduate student killed in Israel on a study tour earlier this month.
Calling Force a “brave knight” who moved from the mission of serving in the Army to another as a graduate student at Vanderbilt, Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos announced the scholarship during a memorial service at Benton Chapel on Vanderbilt’s campus. Zeppos said the Taylor Force Scholarship would be awarded to a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy or the Air Force Academy, and that he hoped it would bring solace, joy and peace to Force’s friends and family.
Zeppos said Force, a 28-year-old MBA student and West Point graduate, had joined thousands of Vanderbilt students who travel the world with a sense of purpose.
“They always go in peace, and they always go in service to others,” he said. “That is what Taylor was doing when he was killed in this horrible act of terrorism.”
The scholarship, Zeppos said, would allow the university to always remember him.
Force, who had served in the Army for five years, including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was remembered by fellow students and faculty as a humble and outgoing student who put others’ needs ahead of his own.
Force was stabbed to death during a school-sponsored trip to learn about startup companies overseas. A dozen Israelis also were wounded in the knife and gun attacks that authorities in Tel Aviv said were carried out by Palestinians. The attacker and three other Palestinians described by authorities as assailants were shot and killed the same day.