Columbia’s Wall of Fame has two new faces.
A longtime educator and a health care professional are the latest inductees to the Columbia Housing Authority wall that honors former public housing residents who have achieved notable success in their fields.
Baron R. Davis and Joseph Ladson Taylor were recognized during the 28th Annual Wall of Fame Ceremony earlier this month in the Drew Wellness Center gymnasium. Their photographs join the 63 others that have been added to the wall on Read Street adjacent to the Read Street Highrise since the wall was established in 1988.
“We are so proud of the individuals selected for induction at this year’s ceremony,” said CHA executive director Gilbert Walker. “They have both set high personal standards throughout their lives and continue to be amazing citizens within their communities.”
Davis, Richland 2 assistant superintendent, was a resident of Allen Benedict Court from 1975 to 1990.
He is the son of Ronnie Gene Davis and Bettye Ann Porterfield Williams and was was raised by his grandmother, Alberta Hill, from ages 3 to 18.
He attended Richland 1 schools, graduated from C.A. Johnson High School and later received a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1995 from Francis Marion University. He earned master’s, specialists and doctoral degrees from the University of South Carolina.
Davis has taught in Richland 2 and served as principal at Edisto High School in Orangeburg Consolidated 4, Alcorn Middle School in Richland 1 and Spring Valley High School in Richland 2.
He serves on educational boards at the University of South Carolina and Fortis College and is is a past board chairman of the Brookland Baptist Child Development Center.
Taylor has been employed with Palmetto Health for more than 20 years and is a physician liaison and Palmetto SeniorCare strategist in the marketing and communications department.
He was a resident of Jaggers Terrace from 1968 to 1973 and Saxon Homes from 1973 to 1980. He is the son of the late Sarah Ladson Taylor and Johnny Goodwin. He was the second youngest in the family of five boys and one girl and was educated in South Carolina public schools.
He graduated cum laude from Benedict College with a bachelor’s degree in English.
He is member of the Palmetto Health Speakers Bureau, and is a certified Zumba instructor, personal fitness trainer and arthritis exercise instructor.
U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn was the keynote speaker for this year’s induction ceremony.
The Wall of Fame began in 1988 under William R. Ballou, former Housing Authority executive director. Ballou was concerned about the absence of positive role models for children living in public housing and believed that if children could see former public housing residents achieve great success, it would encourage them to set higher goals for themselves.
Three people were inducted that year. Brass plaques bearing the names and images of each honoree are placed on a retaining wall for public view.