Former GC President
As the GC community looks back at Morgan Patterson’s life, we
reflect upon the achievements and the great mark he has left.
Rev. Dr. W. Morgan Patterson, the 22nd President of Georgetown College (1984-91), after a brief illness, died a few minutes before midnight Friday, Nov. 19 at his home in Novato, Calif., attended by his wife, Ernestine, and both of his sons.
Memorial services were held at the Tiburon Baptist Church in Tiburon, Calif. at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Burial was at a nearby cemetery the following day with arrangements under the direction of Keaton’s Redwood Chapel of Marin, Novato. Among the tributes already to Dr. Patterson, a historian who taught at four Southern Baptist seminaries, is a story on the Associate Baptist Press website. Also, the Georgetown College flag was flown at half mast through Wednesday in Patterson’s honor.
William H. Crouch, Jr., who succeeded Patterson as president in ’91, said, “Anyone who dedicates a portion of their life to leading an institution is a person with a servant heart. Morgan Patterson served Georgetown College and her students for eight years as president with dedication and passion. In 2001, the trustees named the important and historic Admissions facility in his honor as a symbol of gratitude for his leadership. His scholarship will be forever remembered at this place and we thank God for his time as our leader.”
During the Patterson administration, Georgetown College consistently increased its enrollment each year of his leadership, reached an endowment of more than $16 million (then a record), and saw the restoration and beautification of two antebellum buildings—Highbaugh Hall and Pawling Hall. Among other improvements and acquisitions, the purchase of 52 acres of farmland east of campus stands out.
“A lasting legacy many people don’t know was Dr. Patterson’s vision for the land that would become ‘East Campus,’” said Garvel Kindrick ’85, now the College’s VP of Enrollment —and a student representative on the incoming president’s inaugural committee back then. “Without that we couldn’t have handled the growth we’ve had under President Crouch— the 128 beds in the apartments, and Cincinnati Bengals training camp.” Patterson also leaves quite a legacy at Campbellsville University where he had served as Scholar in Residence since 2000. Dr. Frank Cheatham, that Baptist institution’s vice president for academic affairs, said, “His knowledge and experience provided an extra dimension for our students. I was looking forward to his return in the spring.”
Campbellsville’s president, Dr. Michael V. Carter, added, “Dr. Patterson was a brilliant scholar and Baptist historian and an accomplished higher education leader. We were very saddened to learn of his death and extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mrs. Ernestine Patterson and family. The Campbellsville University family has been greatly enriched as a result of Dr. Patterson’s service for a number of years as a visiting scholar. We will miss him tremendously.”
Jo Griffith, the former administrative assistant to Patterson and three other Georgetown presidents, said by telephone, “President Patterson was quite a gentleman and a scholar…a great academician.” Retired now in Elizabethtown, she added, “He was also a great person to work for.”
Georgetown graduate Marsha Oakes Eden ’87, an SGA Speaker of the House during college and now of Lexington, recalled “Dr. Patterson was a great listener and always made the students feel very comfortable when speaking with him.”
In 1992, Patterson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Stetson University, and in 1993 he was given the Distinguished Service Award for contributions to Baptist history by the Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Bob Russell and “College for a
By ANDY RUSSELL
Day” make for interesting Tuesday
This past Tuesday, the Georgetown College campus and community was blessed to hear the words of Bob Russell, a retired minister from Southeast Christian Church in Louisville.
His sermon, titled “Worldly Success or Spiritual Significance,” was one that brought forth many questions and comments. Russell brought forth questions such as, “When your life is over, will your life matter?” and other very perplexing thoughts.
The program itself was part of the Campus Worship CEP in which there was singing by the congregation, a special song by the Concert Choir and the presentation of an Honorary Doctorate by Rosemary Allen and Martha Layne Collins.
Russell began his run in the ministry when he felt called as a senior in high school in Northern Pennsylvania. Once out of high school, he enrolled at Cincinnati Bible Seminary in 1965 and joined Southeast Christian in 1966. At this point the church had an overall member total of 120.
The church, now one of the largest in the country, has a total membership of 18,000 people over a span of four worship services every Sunday. Russell also has his own ministry, aptly titled Bob Russell Ministries where he mentors and helps ministers and elderly folks. Russell’s personal life is one of a wholesome family man.
Russell and his wife Judy have been married for 44 years and have two sons, Rusty and Phil. Bob was truly a blessing to all of those who attended the event and will continue to do God’s will through his ministry.
Russell’s sermon came on a great day when the students were gathered with other “students” that were here at GC’s program called “College for a Day.” This is a day when young and old alike can come together and experience the infinite joy of learning and being a part of a classroom setting.
The participants were able to choose between a variety of classes. Dr. Ben Oldham, a Southeastern Conference Football Official, gave a lecture about the behind the scenes in college football. Dr. Greg Earwood, the President of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, (which is present at GC) gave a talk entitled, “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.”
After the morning session, the students were able to enjoy a gourmet lunch from the Caf in the Hall of Fame Room and then head off to their afternoon class. Dr. Peter Larue, a music professor, taught a class called“Tunes for Twangers: Silver Threads Make the Gold.” This class studied the roots of country music through three different groups of music. The last class was called “Frame Your Mind for Art” and was taught by Laura Stewart, curator and director of the college art galleries. These classes were filled with participants in the “College for a Day” program and the instructors in the courses had a great time teaching.
This program comes around every so often so if you have anyone or know anyone that wants to get involved make sure and let them know so they won’t miss out on this opportunity.