Suffolk remembers long time prof.

Article By: Angela Bray

Dr. Steven Patterson, a Suffolk Chemistry and Biochemistry professor, lost his battle with cancer at the age of 62 on October 23, 2009 after being diagnosed last year.

As a graduate of the University of Illinois, Patterson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1969. He later earned his Ph.D in Inorganic Chemistry at MIT in 1974, followed by his joining the faculty at Suffolk University.

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends gathered to remember and honor Dr. Patterson at a memorial service last Thursday in the McDermott Conference Room.

Patterson had been a member of the Suffolk community since 1974, working with several university-wide committees, setting up chemistry labs, and working with faculty at the Madrid campus. He served as Chairman of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department from 2003-2008. Patterson was an advisor for freshman students; he cared about them, and was always in his office to offer help and guidance to anyone who needed it. His time and effort went to his students, who appreciated and were thankful for his patience and devotion. “I’d say his main strength was with his students,” said Dr. William Good. “He was always working with them, and he also chose to do the freshman labs for Chemistry majors.”

“We were colleagues for about 35 years,” Good said. “Professor Patterson always made sure his office was organized. He cleaned it at the end of each day so that everything would be all set the next morning.” Good also mentioned Patterson’s hard-working nature and said he was “very methodical.”

Patterson will be remembered as an influential individual, teacher, and friend; he was always involved in projects because they were the right things to do. He was known by others at Suffolk to be accepting and supportive. “His family is from the Mid west, and worried about his distance away. They mentioned how impressed they were by the community Suffolk committed to him,” said Good.

Patterson never boasted of his work or accomplishments.  Some colleagues had not even been aware of Patterson’s accomplishments. Research was one of Patterson’s focuses; his research has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Such an achievement is recognized as “prestigious” and “impressive.”

“He was always really friendly. With my room in the hallway and the door always open, it was nice to have him walk by and say hello every day,” said Dr. Daniel Fox.

Other colleagues acknowledged Patterson for his kind nature and example of worthy effort. The memorial service allowed the opportunity for attendees to offer their own words. The service concluded as attendees departed with memories of Patterson’s warmth, personality, and sense of humor.