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Condolences on the Passing of Education Leader Patrick Hill

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dr. Thomas Les Purce
The Evergreen State University
Olympia, WA  98505

Dear President Purce,

On behalf of the AAC&U staff and board of directors, I write to express my heartfelt condolences to you and the entire Evergreen State University family upon the passing of Patrick Hill.  The higher education community has lost one of our most gifted and passionate educational leaders and mentors.  While we are all deeply saddened by his passing, we will forever be enriched by the powerful educational legacy he has left us and all future generations of students and educators.   Patrick meant a great deal not only to the Evergreen community, but to the AAC&U community as well.   His compassion, humor, and educational insights and leadership will be missed greatly.

In addition to all the ways in which he contributed to Evergreen State University, Patrick also contributed greatly to advancing AAC&U’s educational priorities.  From 1989 to 1992, he served as a member of the National Advisory Panel for AAC&U’s multi-project initiative on Re-Forming College Majors. Through this project, including its signature report, The Challenge of Connecting Learning, he helped to chart the work that AAC&U is doing today on fostering “integrative learning” as an essential dimension of a contemporary liberal education.

From 1993 to 2001, Patrick served on the national panel guiding AAC&U’s initiative, American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning.  In that role, Patrick demonstrated his sharp intellect and abiding commitment to a vision of education that respects every student’s potential and recognizes the value of what every student brings to a community of learners.  His belief in the power of a learning environment that draws from its full diversity was strong and abiding.

All of higher education has benefited from Patrick’s leadership on issues of diversity, social justice, and collaborative learning.  He touched many students’ lives in his own classrooms, but his contributions to the development of new designs for undergraduate education will also continue to affect generations of students for years to come.

We are saddened by this loss, but remain committed to the high ideals that Patrick always upheld—and never let his colleagues or his students forget.  When Patrick contributed to a project, he always raised it to a new level of intellectual rigor, compassion, and service to the greater good.  For that, we will always be deeply grateful.


Carol Geary Schneider

Carol Geary Schneider