November 01, 2018
Home Days weekend in early October provided the opportunity to present a new annual Marlboro College Roots Award recognizing an alumnus who has been outstanding in their service and commitment to the college. This first year the college was pleased to honor Jessica Taylor Taraski ’91, who has tirelessly supported the college by volunteering for admissions, organizing alumni gatherings, and giving thoughtful feedback on various task forces.
“I love Marlboro,” said Jessica, daughter of Jayne Taylor Taraski ’67. Jessica has been part of the Marlboro community since before her birth—and she continues to keep Marlboro in the family, having married Adam Shepard ’91. “I was born here. My mom is a graduate, and my stepmom (Janis Karpin Broom ’70) is a graduate as well. Although I didn’t grow up in the area, once I came back, I felt I couldn’t leave. And I met Adam, the love of my life, here.”
Working behind the scenes with a tiny but mighty team, Jessica has also brought together alumni to honor fallen classmate Jedidiah Adam Leland Fels ’92, resulting in “JALF” reunions for the last four years. This group has become Marlboro’s most organized and connected alumni cohort. Jessica has also personally recruited a number of Marlboro students, including most recently Ben Rejali ’18, who is continuing on to a doctoral program in Islamic studies.
“I’m so grateful to the college and the community and to all who continue to support it,” said Jessica. “Please keep doing it because it’s an amazing place and it needs us.”
It was with tremendous gratitude that Marlboro conferred Jessica Taraski the first annual Marlboro College Roots Award. The award was presented along with a bowl turned from local woods by alumnus Jeff Bower ’92 and finished with oils created by alumna Dianna Noyes ’80, an artwork as thoroughly Marlboro as Jessica.