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Beresfords with President WebbA Legacy to Remember: John Taylor Beresford

For the parents of longtime Edmond resident John Taylor Beresford, the question of how to honor the memory of their late son was answered quickly when remembering his love for Edmond and passion for the field of computer science.   

Through the establishment of a $2 million endowed gift, the largest in UCO history, New Jersey residents Raphael (Ray) and Ann Beresford chose to honor their late son by giving back in a "big way" to students and faculty in the College of Mathematics and Science.

Once a portion of the funds are matched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the gift will provide an impact of $2.5 million in endowed funds for the University.  

"Our son lived in Edmond for 17 years and loved the community. We wanted our gift to remain in Edmond and we knew UCO had a large computer science program," said Ann Beresford.

"We were impressed with the professors and what we saw. The school is going in the right direction and if this can help some other student achieve what John wanted to achieve, then I think it is a perfect fit."

John Taylor Beresford, or as his Edmond friends knew him, John T., came to Edmond from New Jersey in 1990 to work as a photojournalist for the Livermore family at Edmond Sun. He soon realized his talent for computers and in 2000 launched his own web design and hosting company, Digital Studio Designs, quickly signing up Edmond Life and Leisure as one of his first clients.

"John T. was way ahead of the curve on web site development. He made sure his newspaper web site was the first in Oklahoma. Many Oklahoma newspapers studied and learned from what John T. created," said Ray Hibbard, a member of the UCO Foundation Board of Trustees and publisher of Edmond Life & Leisure.

"He never was satisfied with his work. It was important to John T. to continue to improve and develop each web site he was responsible for creating," Hibbard added.

The largest portion of the endowed funds, $1.5 million, will be used to establish the "John Taylor Beresford Endowed Scholarships in Computer Science." The scholarships will be awarded annually to eight undergraduate students and two graduate students studying computer science.

The other portion of the funds, $500,000, will be used to establish two endowed chairs. Both chairs, "The John Taylor Beresford Endowed Chair in Computer Science" and "The John Taylor Beresford Endowed Chair in Mathematics and Statistics," will improve the teaching and scholarly activity in the mathematics and statistics and computer science programs at UCO.

"We are honored the Beresfords chose to preserve their son's legacy here at UCO through the establishment of this most heartfelt gift," said UCO President Roger Webb.

"Their investment will make a significant impact in the lives of students and faculty for years to come."

For more information on how you can establish a legacy to remember at UCO, contact the UCO Development Office at (405) 974-2770.

(Ann and Raphael(Ray) Beresford, parents of John T. Beresford, pictured with President Webb)