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Former Troy vice chancellor dies at 75

Dr. Doug Patterson is being remembered as a pivotal leader for Troy University.

Patterson who served as a vice chancellor for Troy University from 1989 until December 2007, died March 17.

Patterson was remembered as leader who was capable of leading the charge or following others’ lead and working quietly behind the scenes to get things done.

“Doug Patterson was a true servant-leader and one of the finest men I have known,” Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., said. “He was a man of strong character and was loyal to the core. Dr. Patterson loved his work with Troy University and knew every aspect of the university. He was the best I have ever seen at taking a complex problem and breaking it down. He had a great mind and his attention to detail was unmatched. I will greatly miss his wise counsel and his true friendship. His passing has left a gaping hole in my heart. My thoughts are with his wonderful wife, Lise, and their daughters, Lauren and Natalie.”

Patterson and Hawkins met in 1963 at the University of Montevallo. The two lived on the same dormitory hall and pledged the same fraternity. They also took the Marine Corps oath at the same time in 1964, were commissioned together in 1967 and, although they served in different units in combat, were aboard the same plane bound for Vietnam in 1968. They returned from Vietnam on the same plane in 1969.

After his military service, Patterson served as a high school counselor and as the director of counseling and career services at Jefferson State Junior College from1976-1979.

A decade after returning from Vietnam, Patterson would join Hawkins at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind  and served as Hawkins’ vice president for instruction at the until 1989, when he joined Hawkins in his move to what was then Troy State University.

During his tenure at Troy, Patterson was instrumental in developing and coordinating strategic planning for Troy University, and, while serving as vice chancellor, held interim positions as provost and vice president for financial affairs for the Troy campus as well as interim president for the Dothan campus.  In the five years prior to retirement, Patterson served as senior vice chancellor for administration. In this capacity, he directed Troy’s finance and budgeting, information technology, institutional effectiveness, strategic planning and athletics.  He was instrumental in the university’s move to Division I-A athletics, and his stewardship made many of the new buildings on campus possible.

“Dr. Doug Patterson was a great Trojan who helped shape our campus and our culture. His many contributions will positively effect generations of students,” C. Gibson Vance, president pro-tem of the Troy University Board of Trustees, said.

In addition to his service to the university, Patterson also was a public servant. He served 15 years as a member of the Troy City Board of Education, and including three times as chairman. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Troy Regional Medical Center.

“I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone in the past 32-plus years that has been more involved and active and who has done more than Doug Patterson,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves. “If something needed to be accomplished, Dr. Patterson was always the one that could accomplish it. He was one of the most intelligent, effective people that I have ever known. I counted him as a good friend, and I will miss him and his counsel greatly. Troy is a better place because of Doug Patterson.”

A native of Mobile, Patterson earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama College, a master’s degree from the University of Montevallo and a doctorate from the University of Alabama.

In 1967, Patterson was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a platoon commander and as an intelligence officer in Vietnam.

In addition to his work with AIDB and Troy, in 2007, Dr. Patterson was selected as Honorary Alumnus of the Year for Troy University. In 2010 the Board of Trustees named the general academic building in his honor.

A funeral service will be held Friday, March 26, at 11 a.m. at Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.