For Tracy Vezina Patterson ’84, it’s never hard to start a conversation with a Rhodes alumnus. There’s always something to talk about.
“I’ve found that no matter your age, or no matter when you graduated from the College, all Rhodes alumni have much in common, even across generations,” she says. “For example, I can talk to Rhodes alumni from the 1940’s about the Search program, and then I can talk to current students about it, as well.”
Patterson was recently named Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Rhodes after working in the Development Office for two years. In her new role, Patterson enjoys hearing about these common experiences with fellow alumni.
“We all have a love for the College and an appreciation for the education we received,” she explains. “We all enjoyed our beautiful campus. We all benefited from professors and faculty who served as mentors and role models.”
As a student at Rhodes, Tracy majored in International Studies and was editor-in-chief of The Sou’wester, the student newspaper. She was also a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and served as Publications Commissioner on the Rhodes Student Government.
In her new role in Alumni Relations, Patterson hopes to expand and improve Rhodes’ fifteen Regional Chapters, which she says are like “Rhodes communities away from Memphis.” She adds that she hopes to start more chapters, perhaps in San Francisco, Calif., Jackson, Miss., and Jackson, Tenn.
Patterson is also helping plan a new initiative for this year. Dan Cullen, Associate Professor of Political Science at Rhodes, will be offering a traveling lecture seminar entitled “The Equality, Justice and Liberty Course.” It will be offered to Rhodes alumni and their families in various chapter cities. A reception will follow for all area alumni, their families, and parents of current Rhodes students.
In her free time, Patterson enjoys spending time with her children: Emma (14), Joshua (13) and Samantha (8). When she’s not attending their sporting events, she works on her goal of becoming a “master gardener.” She also serves as an alumni advisor to the Kappa Delta sorority.
Patterson also dedicates her time to several nonprofits in the Memphis area. As President of Memphis Civitan, she helps to raise funds to expand research for children and adults with developmental disabilities. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Special Kids & Families, Inc.
For Patterson, there’s nothing better than working at her alma mater. “It’s a lot of fun,” she says. “I love the campus; it’s probably the most beautiful place in the world to work. And plus, being around students all the time is so energizing. It makes you forget how old you are!”
By: Bryan Hearn ’09