UQ alumna Dr Patricia Taylor and her husband Ken Taylor OC visited her alma mater recently to share their story with student leaders and staff at the St Lucia campus.
The Taylors were central figures in the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis with their role in sheltering six Americans and helping them to a daring escape portrayed in the recent Oscar-winning film Argo.
Dr Patricia Taylor graduated from UQ in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and met Ken Taylor while studying at UC Berkeley. Shortly after they married, Ken received his first Canadian government post to Guatemala and went on to become the Canadian Ambassador to Iran.
Patricia is a retired microbiologist and was Associate Director at the Wolf Szmuness Laboratory of Epidemiology; she was also instrumental in helping to establish the Women's International Leadership (WIL) Program at the International House, New York in 1990 and has served as the Chair of the WIL Advisory Council since 1993.
The Taylors rose to prominence after they helped six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis in 1979. After returning from Iran, Ken was appointed Canadian Consul-General to New York City. In 1980, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was also awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal the same year. Their amazing story has been documented several books such as Our Man in Tehran by Robert Wright and most recently captured in Ben Affleck’s Oscar winning film Argo.
While in Brisbane, the Taylors also recorded a fascinating interview with ABC Radio's Richard Fidler about their experiences.