Beverley Taylor Sorenson: Mormon Philanthropist
Beverley Taylor Sorenson was a philanthropist, particularly in promoting the arts in schools in Utah.
She was born on April 13, 1924, in Salt Lake City into a family that valued arts. As an early teen, she took dance and piano lessons (largely from her older sisters) and played piano for a dance school where she earned fifty cents an hour. She also sang and performed with her older sisters. She graduated from East High School and the University of Utah with a certificate to teach elementary education, then used her savings of $1,000 to travel to New York City where she taught kindergarten at a Quaker school. She also studied piano with a concert pianist.
She helped one of her sons revitalize Excelcis Cosmetics. Her husband founded numerous companies, invented medical devices that are used in surgical centers throughout the world, and invested in real estate.
With the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, she supported many causes including the Art Works for Kids, which helped integrate arts into elementary education. In 2008, the Utah State Legislature adopted the arts-focused teaching model—the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program—she and her assistants developed. She also donated millions of dollars to teacher arts education at the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University, and Southern Utah University.
She passed away on May 27, 2013.