College Friend

Pat Patton “I’m just delighted with the energy and vision of Dr. Robertson. If we can get a glimpse of that, we’ll all be further ahead.”

There have been a lot of highlights in Pat Patton’s career in local business and civic involvement. But two moments—on vastly different playing fields—were standouts. “I was there in Dodger Stadium when Kirk Gibson homered in the World Series,” recalls Pat, who formerly owned a Dodgers farmclub. “And another moment I’ll never forget was when Prop T [the SMC funding measure that Pat worked tirelessly for] went over the top. That was another sweet victory.” It’s Pat’s willingness to take risks and “swing for the fences” that have made the SMC Associates such a continually vital part of the campus.

“We’re the arm of the college that brings exciting people like anthropologist Jane Goodall and physicist Stephen Hawking into the lives of our students and community,” says Pat. “We enhance the mission of the college by bringing local entities like the Rand Corporation and the hospitals financially into the picture. SMC is a big part of the local strength of these companies, and if they want to continue to grow and build, there’s no better place for them to start strengthening their foundations. Business should know we’re building one of the great educational institutions in the country here,” he continues. “Scholars come here from around the world. And we’re also sending our young men and women from all ethnic backgrounds back to DC as interns. They return here to become important voices in their communities.” But the “community” Pat feels closest to is the one bounded by Pico, Pearl, 20th and 16th.

“I feel proud to walk the campus and see people reading, studying, being active. And the staff and faculty are so enthused right now, it’s just electrifying,” says Pat. “There are so many great things taking shape on campus, from the planetarium to new programs. We’re all reaching for the horizon, and I’d like students to know that we’re all doing it with a sense of oneness: there’s a great future within their grasp.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.