Best-selling author funds MSU teaching scholarship
Up to eight students enrolled in the College of Education’s Urban Educators Cohorts Program will receive a $7,500 scholarship for tuition.
“When I read about the excellent teaching programs at MSU’s College of Education and its Urban Educators Cohort, I hoped there would be an opportunity for me to help,” Patterson said in a press release to MSU News.
“I wanted to give a hand to eager students who take on the challenge of becoming great teachers,” he said.
Sonya Gunnings-Moton, assistant dean for the College of Education and director of the Urban Educators Cohort Program, said the school is very excited about Patterson’s contribution.
“We are honored that Mr. Patterson recognizes our efforts,” she said.
“He was struck by the incoming students in education.”
She said the reputation of the school may have helped persuade Patterson to donate the money.
“We have the number one teacher prep program in the country,” she said. “We are committed to preparing the best and the brightest.”
The College of Education will interview students during Academic Orientation Program, or AOP, and Gunnings-Moton said they will make the final decision once the orientation is over.
Dean of the College of Education, Donald Heller, said Patterson was not asked to donate money.
“Mr. Patterson approached (MSU) President (Lou Anna K.) Simon out of the blue,” he said.
While the scholarship can help out students financially, Heller said the visibility also helps the school.
“It can help attract other donors and students,” he said.
Heller hopes to encourage Patterson to visit MSU in the future, and in an earlier conversation with him, Heller said Patterson has expressed an interest in visiting MSU’s campus.
Heller said the College of Education hopes Patterson will continue to support it, but that it is the students’ job to make sure it happens by continuing to excel in the classroom.
Gunnings-Moton said that besides the college being ecstatic about the donation, they are happy about who Patterson is targeting.
“We are equally pleased the he is investing in future educators.”