An Oration a 150 Years in the Making

The Scudder Association Foundation is proud to announce this year\’s Ida Scudder Humanitarian Oration, will be presented by Board Member and India Grant, Chair, Dr. James Taylor.


Jim Taylor\’s road to the Oration invitation is a circuitous, and much like his legendary Great-Aunt, a serendipitous one. Jim\’s journey began with stories of the Scudder\’s work in India, told by his mother.  She had heard the accounts from her father, Hamilton Cochran, a long standing Officer and former SAF President, as well as, an historians and professional story teller.  He also authored the authoritative book, Scudders in the American Revolution. (Hamilton is a fascinating character in his own right and will be the subject of an upcoming – Meet a Scudder.)


Jim\’s interest in all things Scudder remained dormant as a young man, as he was preoccupied with developing a successful career as an Oncologist and caring for his family in Wisconsin.  The serendipitous aspect of this road to the Oration occurred when Jim\’s wife Susan, also a physician, wanted to check India off on her \”Bucket list.\”  She asked a friend and fellow anesthesiologist, da Jaya Varadarajan, MD  if she might like to join her and return to her native India. da Jaya informed her this was an auspicious time to return to her alma mater, Vellore CMC, as this was the Centennial celebration of the founder of her school, Dr. Ida Scudder.  Susan was quite taken with providence of the timing of the trip and arranged for she and da Jaya to be in Vellore for the celebration. Jim wished Susan well and was girding himself to manage the household in her absence.  Again, the fates intervened as Susan\’s friend was called away on urgent business. Jim stepped in and filled the seat that would take him to India and significant part of his heritage.


Jim and Susan soon found themselves immersed in a world shaped by Jim\’s forebears. Touring Scudder Memorial Hospital, founded by Jim\’s great-great Grandfather, Dr. Silas Scudder and a whirlwind tour and reception at CMC Vellore, founded by Jim\’s great Aunt, Ida S. Scudder, both Jim and Susan Taylor found themselves infected with the same highly contagious emotions and desire that had afflicted so many Scudders before them.



Jim leapt into the breach at SMH and became active both professionally and philanthropically. He went on to expand his role in the Scudder India missions by becoming a Board Member of the Scudder Association Foundation and subsequently the India Mission Grant Committee, Chair. He also has become an active Board member of the CMC Vellore Foundation.

Susan Taylor, like so many of the Scudder wives before her became involved with the CMC Vellore Anesthesiology Department by establishing a relation with her Anesthesiology group at Wisconsin University Medical. She has given and sponsored seminars at both schools.


Of course, no Scudder family story would be complete without bringing in another generation to offer service. Enter Allison Taylor.  She is a 4th year resident at Wisconsin Medical and served a residency in Vellore CMC in 2019. I suspect it won\’t be the last SAF hears from Allison.


So it is with great pride and satisfaction to extend an invitation to the Board and members of the Scudder Association Foundation to attend the virtual Ida S. Scudder Oration, to be given by Dr. James Taylor.


Please click below to register for the Dr. Ida S. Scudder Humanitarian Oration 9AM EST – 7:30 PM IST





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