By Austin Bryner
Shippensburg University recently inaugurated their 18th president in their history in Charles E. Patterson Ph.D.
The newly inaugurated president graduated from Mississippi State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and earned his PhD in biomedical science from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2002. He had previously worked with numerous universities down south, with the hope to help with the advancement of higher education. Patterson first joined the university back in June of 2021 where he served as interim president until he was later appointed as university president in May of this year.
Leading up to the inauguration of Patterson the university held multiple events to celebrate the soon-to-be new president of the university. Such events that took place were set around different stakeholder groups as well as donors of the University. Students were able to attend events and connect with Patterson through activities such as bull riding, climbing rock walls, obstacles courses and more. After the ceremony they also held a reception dinner at the Ceddia Union Building Multi Purpose room for all to enjoy.
The events that happened were not just geared towards President Patterson during the inauguration week events but to the students as well.
“I honestly think it was really cool all of the events that they did all week long like it wasn't just you know one ceremony on one day this was a week-long event you know. So all of these events leading up to the ceremony and after the ceremony and they really personalized it for students as well. It wasn't something where it was just closed off and you know only to faculty. I thought it was awesome you know how inclusive everything was and all of the events were. It was really cool to see,” said SUTV General Manager, Brixx Minguez, who filmed multiple of the events during inauguration week.
The ceremony to inaugurate Patterson occurred on Thursday, October 27. Presidents from a multitude of university institutions, council of trustees, and student organizations were on stage to help introduce the newest president of the college. President Patterson ended his Inauguration ceremony with a powerful quote not only to the faculty, staff, and students, but to the community as well.
“Come with me and join me on this journey. I am confident that we will see Shippensburg University emerge as the mighty flagship it was always destined to be,” said Patterson in closing.
Throughout his first year with the University Patterson’s interactions with students not only around campus but at school events as well have made a positive impression on students and faculty all over campus. Minguez mentioned that Patterson is already reaching out to different campus organizations to make the campus a more inclusive space.
Patterson said he felt humbled by the whole experience of the inauguration, and went on to further explain his gratitude for the good reception from others on and off the campus.
“I am humbled. Honestly, really humbled by the support that I've seen from among our faculty, our students, and our staff about you know what we're trying to accomplish here at Shippensburg University. The whole week leading up to the investiture ceremony was important because I got to interact with each of those groups, with all of our students who certainly know me well by now, bringing in those community groups, and community leaders who are friends of the university and our donors to spend more time with them than I typically might have was important time. So I really just felt humbled by the whole experience,” said Patterson.
Minguez also further shared how much of an impact some of the student body feel Patterson has made during his time at the University.
“It was exciting. I haven't met one single person who has disliked the Pattersons. In fact all of you know the feedback and the comments that I've got from people have just been rave reviews. I mean just the best things you could hear about someone you’re hearing about Charles and Colleen and you know I can say that from personal experience as well because my interactions with them have been incredible and I consider them friends so I always love seeing them. I just know it was a proud moment. I think you know all the students and then you know faculty and staff. It's just everybody felt so proud and excited for them that the Patterson’s were experiencing, you know, getting this win that I think they really deserved,” said Minguez.
Patterson said his goal as president was to continue the work of those who came before him whether it was president who served prior, the faculty and staff, but also to put the pieces in place for students to succeed in the next step of their lives.
For now a new journey begins. As a new captain steers the ship into the future.