June 11, 2012. Best-selling author James Patterson is creating a scholarship program at Appalachian State University to help prepare teachers for North Carolina. His gift to the Reich College of Education will provide $60,000 to fund eight scholarships for freshmen who have declared their intent to pursue a career in teaching.
Students receiving the scholarship will be called Patterson Scholars and will participate in special activities developed by the Reich College of Education to provide support and enrichment.
Patterson contacted Appalachian directly to make the offer of the eight scholarships valued at $7,500 each. Patterson has a strong interest in literacy education and has made similar contributions to Michigan State University, Manhattan College, Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin. He said he decided to explore an investment at Appalachian because of its strong reputation for teacher education.
“We welcome the support of Mr. Patterson for teacher education at Appalachian State University,” said Dr. Charles R. Duke, dean of the Reich College of Education. “Patterson is well known to many as a prolific writer of best-selling mysteries and children’s books. But he also is sensitive to the literacy needs of children and the importance of preparing teachers who have that same sensitivity and the necessary skills and knowledge to assist students in their education.”
The eight recipients of the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships are Samantha Adams from North Wilkesboro, Taylor Callicutt from Carthage, Troy Colvard from Jefferson, Samantha Couch from Yadkinville, Nicole Hoffman from Gastonia, Nicole Iorio from Clayton, Hanna Robinson from Marshall and Olivia Thompson from Mooresville.
The scholarship will cover tuition and related expenses. The scholarship was awarded based on financial need and the potential to become leaders in education.
“At a time when access to college is becoming more and more of a financial burden for many students and their families, the Patterson gift is a strong testimonial for providing support to well qualified students to be able to pursue a career in teacher education,” Duke said. “We are most honored that Mr. Patterson has singled out the Reich College of Education for this generous support.”
Patterson has written 71 novels in 33 years, including the popular Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series. He has had 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds The New York Times record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author.
Appalachian graduates approximately 600 teachers a year and is one of the largest teacher education programs in the University of North Carolina system. Graduates of Appalachian’s teacher education programs can be found in every county in the state.
For more information about the Reich College of Education, visit www.ced.appstate.edu.