Dr. D. H. Taylor and Peggy Cox Taylor give back to eastern North Carolina with planned gift

Dr. D. H. Taylor and his wife Peggy Cox Taylor are eastern North Carolina success stories. Their successes and their affinity for the people and places of the coastal plain have led the couple to commit significant planned gifts to the ECU School of Dental Medicine and College of Fine Arts and Communication.

The endowed bequests will provide financial assistance for dental and art students from Pitt, Lenoir, Beaufort, and Hyde Counties in perpetuity.

D. H. (Delaney Harper) and Peggy had long and fulfilling careers before their marriage in 2002. D. H. grew up in Kinston, N.C., and graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry in 1972. Upon graduating, he was Pitt County’s public health dentist for a year before opening a general dentistry practice in Greenville, which he operated for 38 years.

He now serves as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Dental Medicine and as a member of the school’s Admissions Committee. He also practices locum tenens (“one holding a place”) for other dentists in North Carolina who leave their practices temporarily.

Peggy grew up in Belhaven, N.C., and earned a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) from ECU in 1970. She launched an interior design career in 1970 that lasted until her retirement in 2014.

As a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Peggy plied her keen eye for design and business sense working for development corporations in Virginia and Maryland. She transformed model homes and planned communities into the trendy, beautiful spaces that people love to inhabit.

D. H. and Peggy share a life-long love of music.  As children, the plays and concerts they attended at ECU were transformative. “It’s likely that we attended some of the same events at the university, but we didn’t know each other then,” said D. H. “Those events helped shape who we are.”

Both excel at piano. In fact, at a young age, D. H. performed piano recitals in Wright Auditorium and aspired to the concert stage. Recently, he got the thrill of a lifetime conducting Leroy Anderson’s “Serenata” as guest conductor of the Symphony of the Mountains at Chetola in Blowing Rock, N.C.

As a ninth grader, D. H. became enthralled by the work of his sister’s orthodontist, Dr. Robert Gilbert of Kinston. Though music remained a source of joy for D. H., dentistry became his passion.

D. H. and Peggy view their planned gifts as a way to give back to the people of eastern North Carolina. “We can’t take it with us,” said D. H., “so we want to give back to the source from where it came.”

“We have both worked very hard and have been savers. In fact, I urge dental students to save 15% of every dollar they earn. I have always been dedicated to my patients, and they have been good to me in return.”

“We want others to have some of the advantages we have had,” said Peggy. “ We simply want to share the joy of our blessings.”