MACON — On Sept. 17, President William D. Underwood announced the appointment of John A. Patterson as vice president for University development, effective Oct. 13. Patterson, currently senior vice president for development at Oklahoma Baptist University, served as executive director of development at Mercer until 1996, when he was named vice president at OBU, his alma mater.
Upon returning to Mercer, Patterson will report to Dr. Richard V. Swindle, senior vice president for University advancement and senior vice president — Atlanta, and will be responsible for management of the departments of development, advancement records, donor and foundation relations, development communications, and planned and estate gifts. Based in Macon, Patterson will also be active in major gift fund-raising and will supervise the Grand Opera House, a performing arts center operated by the University.
“We are very pleased that John Patterson has accepted our invitation to return to Mercer. He brings extensive experience as the senior development officer at an outstanding institution, and he brings a proven record of success as a fund-raiser,” Dr. Swindle said. “I had the pleasure of working closely with John when he was previously at Mercer, and I learned first-hand that he is a person of integrity, intelligence and competence. He has a strong work ethic and a deep appreciation for Mercer, and he will be a valuable addition to our staff. I am very excited about working with him again.”
As OBU’s chief advancement officer for the past 12 years, Patterson has overseen major gifts programs, the annual fund, capital campaigns, foundation/corporation and special gifts, the Bison Athletic Association, Friends of the Arts, Shawnee Advisory Board, and the National Board of Development, as well as alumni and development records, special events, and development communications. He also has supervised OBU’s alumni programming and public relations operations. Patterson was responsible for the University’s $25 million Foundation for the Future capital campaign, which concluded with over $31 million in gifts and pledges. In OBU’s most recent fiscal year, the University raised a record $9.2 million.
As executive director for development at Mercer, Patterson coordinated and supervised the University’s annual fund efforts, including the institution’s then-eight colleges and schools, as well as athletics, university press and general University annual fund. He also provided leadership in resource development efforts for the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics and supervision of the Executive Forum program.
“It will be a privilege to rejoin the Mercer staff and to reconnect with many Mercer alumni and friends,” Patterson said. “I look forward to working with President Underwood, Richard Swindle and the entire advancement staff as Mercer seeks to achieve the goals set forth in the University’s recently adopted 10-year plan. The opportunity to be part of a bold venture will be both challenging and fulfilling. It is an exciting time to be returning to Mercer.”
He is active in numerous professional organizations, the Shawnee Rotary Club, and was appointed by Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry as chair of the State Board on Legislative Compensation.
Patterson graduated from OBU in 1988 with a degree in journalism and served as student body president during his senior year. He and his wife, Tamara, have two children, Emma and Ford, and are members of Shawnee’s First Baptist Church.