Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Haycock
561-297-4040, ahaycock@fau.edu

FAU College of Education Receives Gift from Author James Patterson

BOCA RATON, FL (August 14, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University recently received a $60,000 gift from best-selling author James Patterson to establish the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship Fund. The fund will award scholarships to eight College of Education students who are pursuing careers in teaching with special emphasis on reading education. Patterson has made it his mission to get children excited about reading, and believes that training the next generation of great teachers is essential to accomplishing this mission.

"On behalf of the entire University family, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Patterson for this gift," said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. "His passion for education is truly inspiring, and we are so pleased that he recognized FAU's College of Education for its longstanding commitment to excellence. We look forward to working with him to provide more training opportunities for the teachers of tomorrow."

The James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship recipients will form a learning community that will supplement their regular program of study, and serve as hands-on instructional interns with mentors in Palm Beach County classrooms as reading specialists. Additionally, they will prepare and submit a report on practical and feasible ways to improve education in their city or state, which will be shared with Patterson.

"When I read about the excellent teaching programs at FAU's College of Education, I was truly impressed, and I wanted to give a hand to these students as they strive to become great teachers," said Patterson. "This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to help FAU's faculty and students, who in turn will help children develop a passion for reading."

Patterson currently supports scholarships at several other universities including his alma maters, Manhattan College and Vanderbilt University, as well as Tulane and the University of Wisconsin. A resident of Palm Beach, he also has been active in the local community, speaking to students and meeting with teachers in Palm Beach County schools to discuss the importance of getting students excited about reading.

"We truly appreciate this gift from Mr. Patterson, and share his passion for providing quality training for our education students, as well as classroom assistance for our partners in Palm Beach County schools," said Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D., vice president of community engagement and executive director of the FAU Foundation. "Teachers help to open the doors of opportunity for all, and gifts from generous donors like Mr. Patterson help to ensure that FAU's College of Education can continue to have a positive impact on our community."

For more information about the FAU College of Education, including giving opportunities, visit www.coe.fau.edu or contact David Rutherford at 561-297-2119.

-FAU-

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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