Dr. Frederick D. Patterson was a veterinarian and educator who made significant contributions to Black collegiate excellence. The founder of the United Negro College Fund was born October 10, 1901.
Frederick Douglass Patterson was born in Washington, D.C. but raised primarily by his sister in Texas after he was orphaned at the age of two. The sister sacrificed nearly half of her salary for her brother to attend private school and it paid off as Patterson went on to become a stellar student at Iowa State College. While there, Patterson earned a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and a Master of Science. He later earned a second doctorate in Philosophy from Cornell University.
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In 1935, at the age of 33, Patterson was named the third president of what is now Tuskegee University. This came after he was initially added to the faculty to head its Agriculture department. While at Tuskegee, he established a veterinary school so prestigious that the state of Alabama gave the school funds so that white students could also attend. As president of Tuskegee, Patterson raised the bar of achievement and expectation.
In 1944, with a desire to aid private Black colleges financially, Patterson established the United Negro College Fund, which has raised over $3.6 billion since its inception. The fund provides over $100 million annually, which aids about 10,000 students.
The Alpha man has received a number of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
Dr. Patterson passed in April 1988.
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