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Clancy Taylor, graduate student in the English department, dies at 25


Clancy Taylor, right, with fellow graduate student Bren Ram, left. Photo courtesy Bren Ram.

By Ivanka Perez     5/29/20 10:38pm

Clancy Sheridan Taylor, a graduate student in the English department, died on May 16 at age 25. They had just received a Master of Arts in English for their two years of study. 

In an obituary for Taylor’s funeral service, Taylor’s parents wrote that they often spent free time reading or hanging out with friends.

“Known for ... quick wit and charm, Clancy was always willing to lend a helping hand to someone in need,” their parents wrote. “An avid reader and accomplished guitarist, [Clancy] enjoyed hanging out with [the] close-knit Rice cohort and spending time with extended family in Texas and Wisconsin during school breaks.”

Taylor attended the University of Chicago for their undergraduate studies, where they graduated with honors, receiving a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in comparative literature.

When Taylor entered Rice’s English doctoral program in the fall of 2018, they planned to specialize in comparative modernist literature and continental philosophy. Along with receiving a Master of Arts in English this past semester, they had also completed the Certificate in Critical Cultural Theory.

At Rice, Taylor was a Diana Hobby Fellow for the journal Studies in English Literature, and served on the executive board of the Humanities Graduate Student Association this school year. They were also part of a team that received the George R. Brown teaching grant to create an undergraduate class on race-making in the Middle Ages. 

“Clancy’s teachers, colleagues and friends, as well as the Rice staff members who knew them deeply mourn their death,” Rosemary Hennessy, chair of the English department, said. “I am sure students who came to know Clancy … recognized their talents as an insightful reader and a generous and thoughtful soul.”

Taylor is survived by their parents Tommy and Megan, as well as grandparents and other members of their extended family.

As a memorial for Taylor, their family has established the Clancy Taylor Fund, which aims to support graduate students in English like Taylor.

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