University of the Ozarks on Wednesday rededicated the J.T. Patterson Administrative Services Office in memory of the University’s long-time business manager.
In front of numerous family, friends and University employees, the newly remodeled office suite was rededicated during a ceremony in the lobby of the Mabee Administration Building.
Patterson, who passed away in 2000, served as business manager at Ozarks for 38 years, retiring in 1982.
“We in leadership positions at Ozarks well know, and regularly and humbly acknowledge, that we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us,” said U of O President Richard Dunsworth. “These giants of Ozarks’ past endured, and persevered, and led through times and challenges so daunting that the institution’s very existence was sometimes threatened. Today, with J.T.’s amazing legacy in mind, we have a great opportunity to celebrate this giant by rededicating the newly remodeled Office of Administrative Services in his honor.”
The ceremony was attended by several members of the Patterson family, including J.T. and Lucile Patterson’s two children, Dr. Jack Patterson and his wife, Lisa, and Ann Patterson. Both Jack and Ann Patterson are graduates of Ozarks. Also in attendance were J.T.’s niece, Beth Patterson Duvall; granddaughter Katie Patterson Bradley; and grandson Jay Patterson and his wife Sarah and their son, J.T.
“For J.T. to be honored and memorialized in this way by the University means everything to our family,” said Jay Patterson. “This University meant so much to my grandfather as well as my grandmother and to see that Ozarks still holds him in such high esteem is very humbling. This University is in our family’s bloodlines and in our marrow and we’re so grateful that the family name will continue on here with this honor.”
The J.T. Patterson Administrative Services Office houses the University’s student records and registrar functions, financial aid, work study reimbursement and student billing offices.
“Not only does J.T.’s name above the door celebrate his legacy at Ozarks, so, too, does the design of the office suite,” Dunsworth said. “J.T.’s work to help students attend Ozarks is legendary. The personal time and attention he and his staff would give our students, now alumni, was exceptional. We hope and feel that he would very much like the way reception for students and access to convenient, one-stop help has been enhanced through these services.”
Born in 1915 in northern Johnson County, J.T. Patterson attended what was then The College of the Ozarks and Draughon’s Business College in Dallas, where he met his wife, Lucile. The couple were married Dec. 24, 1937, in Hubbard, Texas, the same year as his graduation from Draughon’s. He worked as an accountant for Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Company in Dallas until 1943, when he returned to Clarksville to serve as business manager for the University. He retired from that position in June of 1980. The University administration asked him to return in September of 1981, and Patterson worked another year. His career at the University spanned 38 years and he served under 10 presidents.
Other special guests during the ceremony were alumnus and long-time friend of the Pattersons, Dr. Don Pennington of Clarskville, and life-long friend Ann Murphy Lafferty of Gloucester, Mass., the daughter of long-time Ozarks librarian Lucille Murphy.