Patterson ’83 receives Leadership and Service Award

Cornell College is pleased to recognize and honor Ken Patterson, class of 1983, for his global efforts to address extreme poverty and disease, and for his commitment to the values that we hope all Cornellians develop and nurture over their lives.

During Ken’s time at Cornell, he served as a resident assistant, assistant head resident, and then as the head resident. Ken graduated with an English degree and headed north, taking a job at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. During his time at St. Thomas, he earned a master’s degree in higher education administration at the University of Minnesota.

After Ken graduated, he joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Africa; spending two years in a small village in Niger, living in a round mud hut with a grass roof, and then a third year at a regional center as team coordinator. After five years Ken came back to the U.S. a changed person from his experiences with extreme poverty and lack of access to health care. Ken committed himself to the expansion of access to education, basic health care, and economic opportunity.

In the years since Ken has continued to broaden and deepen his understanding of the issues.  Continually enhancing his skills in training, political advocacy, planning, budgeting, strategy, economic development, organizing, service learning, and networking in order to make himself a more effective advocate. Ken also earned another master’s degree, this time in organizational change management, from the New School University.

In 2005 Ken joined the organization RESULTS and now serves as director of global grassroots advocacy for this international organization by working to end poverty across the globe.

Ken, you have truly spent your life fighting for humanity. Thousands of children thrive today because of your efforts. On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the entire Cornell community, it is an honor to present you with the Leadership and Service Award.