Author Patterson creates ASU scholarship
Best-selling author James Patterson is creating a scholarship program at Appalachian State University to help prepare teachers for North Carolina. His gift to the Reich College of Education will provide $60,000 to fund scholarships for freshmen students who have declared their intent to pursue a career in teaching.
Patterson has written 71 novels in 33 years. He has had 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author, a total of 63, which is also a Guinness World Record. As the world's best-selling author (250 million copies in total worldwide), his novels account for one in 17 of all hardcover novels sold in the United States; in recent years his novels have sold more copies than those of Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined. He is also the author of several children's books.
Patterson contacted Appalachian directly to make the offer of the eight scholarships valued at $7,500 each. Patterson has a strong interest in literacy education and has made similar contributions to Michigan State University, Manhattan College, Vanderbilt University and University of Wisconsin. He said he decided to explore an investment at Appalachian because of its strong reputation for teacher education.
The eight recipients of the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships will be selected this summer. Each will receive $7,500 for tuition and related expenses starting with the fall semester 2012. They will be called Patterson Scholars and will participate in special activities developed by the Reich College of Education to provide support and enrichment.
"We welcome the support of Mr. Patterson for teacher education at Appalachian State University," said Charles R. Duke, Dean of the Reich College of Education. "Patterson is well known to many as a prolific writer of best-selling mysteries and children's books. But he also is sensitive to the literacy needs of children and the importance of preparing teachers who have that same sensitivity and the necessary skills and knowledge to assist students in their education."
As incoming freshmen, all candidates for the Patterson scholarship must demonstrate financial need as well as the potential to become leaders in education. Appalachian graduates approximately 600 teachers a year and is one of the largest teacher education programs in the University of North Carolina system. Graduates of the teacher education programs at Appalachian can be found in every county in the state.
"At a time when access to college is becoming more and more of a financial burden for many students and their families, the Patterson gift is a strong testimonial for providing support to well qualified students to be able to pursue a career in teacher education. We are most honored that Mr. Patterson has singled out the Reich College of Education for this generous support," said Duke.