Dr. Dan Patterson honoured with prestigious award

Sep 23, 2011

Niagara College president Dr. Dan Patterson is honoured with a Paul Harris Fellowship at the Sept. 22 meeting of the St. Catharines Rotary Club. The Paul Harris Fellowship is the highest honour bestowed upon a deserving individual by the Rotary Club. He is pictured (right) receiving a Paul Harris medallion from Rotary Club president John Crossingham.

For his extraordinary leadership at Niagara College and his impact on the community, Niagara College President Dr. Dan Patterson, currently on sabbatical, has received a prestigious award from the Rotary Club of St. Catharines – the Paul Harris Fellow.
The fellowship is the highest award that the Rotary Club has to offer, honouring those who have made significant contributions to their community – whether locally, nationally or internationally.
Patterson has impacted all three, noted Rachel Delaney, member of the Rotary Club who presented Patterson with the fellow at the Rotary Club luncheon meeting on September 22.
“A Paul Harris Fellow is committed to helping others achieve all they can be. It is no coincidence that the Niagara College vision of enriching lives and fulfilling dreams was penned during Dan’s tenure,” she said.
“Dan’s service above self is truly evident everywhere you look at Niagara College … There are many presidents of colleges in Canada, but very few have given of their lives to their vocation and their community as Dan Patterson has.”
Delaney pointed out the numerous ways the college has transformed since Patterson’s arrival in 1995, including its growth, with 9,000 students and 15,000 continuing education registrants; the $90-million redevelopment and expansion of its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses; the addition of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute and its Wine Visitor + Education Centre, teaching winery, and teaching brewery; the new $40-million Applied Health Institute; new industry partnerships that promote Niagara involvement in the world of research and development; and the college’s $300-million annual impact on the local economy.
“You cannot separate the achievement from the leader and these achievements were all under Dan’s leadership,” she said.
Delaney noted that the college has drawn visits from the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Ontario, the Prince of Wales and numerous international dignitaries, during the past two years alone.
“These kinds of things put Niagara on the map and their positive effects for all of us cannot be measured,” she said.
Patterson accepted a Paul Harris Fellow pin, medallion and certificate from John Crossingham, president of the Rotary Club of St. Catharines. “This is all a very big surprise. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart so very much,” said Patterson.
Before he received the prestigious award, Patterson addressed members of the Rotary Club of St. Catharines in a speech about the college. He spoke about the recent redevelopment of its campuses as well as its role in the evolving economy, noting that post secondary education is key to the future.
“In today’s knowledge economy, people from all sectors, from all walks of life, need high quality education and training,” he said. “We all need to embrace life-long learning to stay current in our chosen occupations, and to be involved in building a learning and innovative community second to none. You can certainly count on Niagara College to be there.”
On September 1, Patterson began a nine-month sabbatical, which he will spend researching and writing on college leadership, the importance of industry/educational partnerships and the role colleges play in economic development. He will also spend time at Oxford University in the UK as a visiting research fellow. During his sabbatical, Dr. Steve Hudson is Niagara College’s Acting President.


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