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April 21, 2016

Patricia B. Kilpatrick

We recently mourned the loss of Patricia B. Kilpatrick, Vice President and University Marshal Emerita on 3/3/2016. To the staff of the University Archives Pat holds a special place. While she held a number of important positions, it was her duties as Secretary of the University that made her our boss. The University Archives was established in 1964 through the persistence of Secretary of the University Carolyn Neff and the hard work of University Archivist Ruth Helmuth. When Pat succeeded Carolyn as Secretary of the University in 1979, she inherited us.

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Pat with student protesters outside Haydn Hall, 1969

Pat was born 5/19/1927 in Cleveland. She entered Ohio Wesleyan University in 1945 and transferred to Flora Stone Mather College in 1947. Pat received her B.A. in 1949, majoring in History. She earned the M.A. in Physical Education in 1951. After graduation she married and started a family. She returned to Western Reserve University in 1962 as Instructor in Physical Education. She became an Assistant Professor and served as Chair of the Women’s Physical Education Department, 1970-1972.

In 1965 she became an assistant dean of Mather College. She served on the faculty until 1972, when she moved into administrative work full-time. In 1972 when Adelbert, Mather, and Cleveland Colleges merged, Pat became Associate Dean for Non-Academic Affairs and then Associate Dean for Student Affairs for Western Reserve College. She also served as Director of Thwing Center. With the looming retirement of Carolyn Neff, President Toepfer appointed Pat Assistant Secretary of the University in 1977 so she could learn the various duties. In August 1979 Pat became the last Secretary of the University.

The duties of the Secretary were important and varied. Some of the major responsibilities included administrative support of the Faculty Senate, the Visiting Committees, oversight of the University Archives, commencement, and Squire Valleevue Farm. In 1987 she was promoted to Vice President and University Marshal. The 1991 University Ball was held in her honor and Pat retired 6/30/1992.

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Pat Kilpatrick at the University Ball in her honor, 1991 (photograph by Daniel Milner)

Pat served on many committees, one of the most influential being the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the University - which she chaired (1971-1973). Pat was very involved in the Mather Alumnae Association (serving as President) and the Episcopal Church, in which she held a number of positions on the local and national level.

When the sheep barn at Squire Valleevue Farm was renovated in 1992 it was named Pat’s Place in her honor. Also in 1992, the Physical Education Department created the Patricia B. Kilpatrick Award to be presented to the four-year varsity letter-winner with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Pat was involved with many other committees, awards and accomplishments. Too many for this short post. You can hear Pat discuss her career in this 2008 Case Stories interview and this interview for the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.

A number of years ago, Pat brought to the University Archives the two original flags of the newly federated CWRU. When Barbara Snyder became president, Pat told her about the flags and that they should hold a place of honor. We selected the flag in the best shape, it was restored, and is now hanging in the first floor lobby of Adelbert Hall.

On a personal note, my last conversation with Pat was in mid-December 2015 when she called to say she wanted to take the Archives staff out to lunch. We could not get it scheduled before the holidays and agreed to set it up after the new year. Unfortunately, we were unable to have that lunch.

Goodbye, Pat. We’ll miss you.

Posted by hxy2 at April 21, 2016 08:12 PM

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