Best Selling Author James Patterson Creates Scholarship Fund
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – World-renowned author James Patterson has established the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship Fund at the University of Arkansas. Patterson’s gift of $48,000 will provide eight scholarships in the amount of $6,000 each to students majoring in elementary or secondary education in the College of Education and Health Professions.
Chancellor G. David Gearhart was contacted by Patterson, a best-selling mystery and children’s book author, to discuss the possibility of the scholarship fund.
“I was delighted to hear of Mr. Patterson’s interest in creating these scholarships to support our students,” said Gearhart. “We are honored to have a scholarship program in his name at the University of Arkansas and are grateful for his philanthropy. His recognition and support of our teacher education programs reinforce the excellent reputation of the teacher preparation offered by our university.”
In the past three years, Patterson has sold more books than any other author, according to Nielsen BookScan, a data provider for the book publishing industry. In total, his books have sold an estimated 275 million copies worldwide. Patterson has had 19 consecutive No. 1-selling New York Times best-selling novels and holds the New York Times record for the most hardcover fiction best-selling titles by a single author with 89 total, which is also a Guinness World Record.
“After I read about the excellent programs in teacher education at the University of Arkansas, I wanted to get involved,” said Patterson. “My hope is that the scholars in Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professions will make substantial contributions in the lives of their students and their communities.”
Patterson’s gift to the University of Arkansas is similar to scholarships he has funded at Vanderbilt, Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin, Howard University and Appalachian State University.
A lifelong champion of books and reading, his “James Patterson Pageturner Awards” reward groups and individuals for creative and effective ways of spreading the joy of reading, and his website readkiddoread.com helps adults find books children will love to read. Patterson also donates thousands of books to troops overseas.
His books include several series for adults and children, including the Alex Cross detective series, the Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club series, Maximum Ride, Daniel X and Witch & Wizard. Several of his books have been made into movies, and his literary awards include the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year, the Reader’s Digest Reader’s Choice Award, and the Children’s Choice Book Council’s Author of the Year.
The College of Education and Health Professions is awarding the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship to eight pre-childhood education majors this fall. The recipients include Caitlin Bennett of Little Rock; Kayla Boyett of Katy, Texas; Amanda Champagne of Richardson, Texas; Chelsea Coker of Tuttle, Okla.; Emma Haigh of Frisco, Texas; Emily Phillips of Bentonville; Candace Price of Rogers; and Emily Sugg of Huntsville.
Childhood education is consistently among the top 10 most popular majors at the University of Arkansas. The enrollment, including pre-childhood education, was the seventh largest among all majors in fall 2012. In the fall semester, 390 students were majoring in pre-childhood education, 149 were majoring in childhood education, and 119 were majoring in elementary education.
Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
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