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“Ida S: An Appreciation” – Oration Delivered by Dr. James Hamilton Taylor

Together with the Christian Medical College, the Vellore CMC Foundation established the Dr. Ida S. Scudder Humanitarian Oration to perpetuate the humanitarian ideals and values seen in the life of Dr. Ida Scudder, with the objective of inspiring and encouraging current and future generations to embrace these same ideals. Each year, the Oration honors an individual who best exemplifies the humanitarian love in action characterized by “Aunt Ida”, and whose life today serves as a worthy model for others to emulate.

On December 9th, 2020, CMC and the Foundation were delighted to honor Dr. James Hamilton Taylor for his lifetime of humanitarian efforts, his unwavering friendship with and support of CMC Vellore and his family relationship to Ida Scudder. Dr. Taylor is the great-great-grandson of Dr. Ida’s uncle, Dr. Silas Scudder, founder of Scudder Memorial Hospital, Ranipet. Until his recent retirement, Dr. Taylor served as the Medical Director in Radiation
Oncology at Ascension Cancer Care – All Saints in Racine, WI. Alongside his clinical practice, Dr. Taylor has been active in conducting clinical research. He chaired the Ascension Southeast
Wisconsin Regional Cancer Committee. He served on the Executive Committee of his hospital and as president of his medical group.

On the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Ida, Dr. Taylor celebrated her life’s achievements, speaking reverently about her life story. He reminded attendees that of all her groundbreaking accomplishments in establishing the institution that is CMC today, she is
most “celebrated, quoted, emulated for the values which she brought to her life, her work, and which she passed on to CMC.” CMC, he noted, is a value-driven institution, where values turn into action and can be witnessed at institutional programs such as the Jawadhi Hills project, RUHSA, and the Low-Cost-Effective-Care Unit.

As a member of the Scudder family, Dr. Taylor knew of Ida’s story and the history of the Scudder missionaries, but it was not until 2013 that he would become intimately aware of the rich lives led by his missionary ancestors and Ida’s impact. “Fitting to a family renowned for its strong women, I came to CMC through another such person, my wife Susan, who is also a physician”. Dr. Taylor explains that his wife Susan encouraged his visit to CMC in 2013, where he also reacquainted himself with family and the Scudder Association Foundation. Since then, both he and his wife have developed friendships and partnerships with CMC. Susan established a mutually beneficial relationship between her institution, the Medical College of Wisconsin and CMC, like programs already in place which connect Tufts University, Weill
Cornell Medical College and University of Kansas to CMC.

Drs. James and Susan Taylor may stand on the shoulders of previous generations of Scudders, but they are now the standard-bearers for generations to come. The values imbibed through a rich family history of service to others are manifested in their actions and their unique relationship with CMC. “Be there, consistently” Dr. Taylor shared, because it is through collective contributions that we can make the impossible possible.

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