FOXBORO, Mass. - Saint Michael's College Religious Studies Department Chair Ray Patterson received the inaugural Northeast-10 Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Faculty Mentor Award on Sunday during the NE10's year-end banquet at Gillette Stadium's Putnam Club. Patterson, also an associate professor of religious studies, is a long-time supporter of Saint Michael's Athletics, and serves as the faculty affiliate for the women's basketball, field hockey and women's lacrosse programs, providing academic support and guidance to those teams' student-athletes.
"I can't imagine a more worthy professor to be the inaugural recipient of this award than Ray Patterson," said Director of Athletics Chris Kenny '86. "His selfless dedication to the academic success and holistic development of our student-athletes is truly extraordinary." Patterson was presented the award on Sunday evening by May graduate Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy), a softball captain this past season.
A familiar face on campus, Patterson recently completed his 22nd school year as a professor at the College. Beyond the realm of Athletics, he has been involved with Pre-Orientation Weekend (POW) and the student residence hall visitor program, served as a liaison to Edmundite Campus Ministry, and led pilgrimages to Montreal and Quebec City, among other various activities positively affecting numerous students.
"Professor Patterson assists many of our student-athletes in the class selection process to ensure that all of the athletes he works with are on their appropriate path to graduation," said women's basketball head coach Shannon Kynoch, "and he goes above and beyond to check in with coaches about their athletes and continues relationships with athletes beyond graduation. For younger students who are undeclared, he often takes the time out to meet with and offer suggestions and options. Coaches look to him for support in helping their athletes navigate their academic path, and he is quite often on speed dial when questions arise." Kynoch noted that Patterson regularly attends sporting events and is invited to team functions.
Thanks to his involvement with all students at the College, he has been honored often over the years. Patterson was recognized with the 2013 Saint Michael's College Norbert A. Kuntz Service Award, and earned the 2017 Dr. Dave Landers Faculty Member of the Year Award as presented by the Saint Michael's SAAC this past April. Last month, Patterson earned the Reverend Gerald E. Dupont Award, given annually to the faculty member who demonstrates dedication to the ideals of courage, vision, devotion and faith upon which Saint Michael's College was founded, and in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Saint Michael's community.
"Not only is he a dedicated professor to each and every student, he chooses to support not one, but three of our athletic programs to ensure that these student-athletes have the best academic experience possible," said Kynoch, also the Department of Athletics' SAAC Adviser. "Professor Patterson epitomizes what it means to enhance the student-athlete experience at Saint Michael's College."