Patterson Lecture

James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

The James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture honors former Board of Trustees member Jim Patterson and the cause to which he is most committed, a vibrant University fulfilling its land-grant mission in an ever-changing world. The lecture brings to campus annually a prominent figure to speak to the range of challenges facing land-grant institutions in the 21st century and beyond. The lecture challenges the university and community audience to continue to use their knowledge and resources and work together to solve world issues. Mr. Patterson served on the Universitys Board of Trustees from 1994 - 2003 and served as Chair of the Board 2002-03.

2022 James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

President Kristina M. Johnson, The Ohio State University
April 12, 2022

Watch a replay of the 2022 Patterson Lecture.

Photo of President Kristina M. Johnson

Kristina M. Johnson is many things: a trail-blazer in the classroom, the boardroom and the research lab; a dedicated public servant who served at the highest levels of government; a survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma; and a role model and advocate for women in STEM. Most of all, Dr. Johnson is an innovator and an inventor, a leader who is constantly seeking new solutions to the most seemingly intractable challenges.

Dr. Johnson has a keen focus on the university's future, pursuing an ambitious agenda to double research investment, increase the number of faculty and boost public safety funding while committing to eliminate debt for undergraduate students over the next decade.

In 1999, she was named dean of Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, where undergraduate enrollment increased 20 percent under her leadership and, in 2007, became the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Johns Hopkins University. In 2009, she was selected by President Barack Obama to serve as undersecretary of energy in the U.S. Department of Energy. She was confirmed to the post by unanimous consent of the U.S. Senate. In the Obama administration, Dr. Johnson oversaw a $10.5 billion energy and environmental portfolio. She helped the White House pinpoint the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon spill - the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history - drawing on her work on a long-ago high school science project to do so.

Dr. Johnson holds 118 U.S. and international patents. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to found the clean energy hydroelectric generation company Cube Hydro Partners, which was purchased by Ontario Power Generation in 2019.

In April 2017, Johnson returned to academia as the 13th chancellor of the State University of New York, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the U.S. Dr. Johnson's accomplishments during her tenure at SUNY include increasing research expenditures by $100 million annually, developing a roadmap for clean energy goals and establishing groundbreaking new collaborations with businesses like IBM.

16th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

Chancellor Rebecca Blank, University of Wisconsin-Madison
May 2, 2019

Watch a replay of the 2019 Patterson Lecture

Blank became chancellor of Wisconsin's flagship university in July 2013, bringing with her a deep commitment to educational excellence and innovation. She is an internationally respected economist who also has spent time in Washington, D.C., working in three different administrations.

Most recently, she served as deputy secretary and acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Obama. She was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. Blank brings strong academic credentials to her work as chancellor. From 1999 to 2008 she was dean and professor of public policy and economics in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where she launched innovations including interdisciplinary graduate programs and an undergraduate public policy major.

Blank's commitment to expanding and improving educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom to better prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing economy has been a hallmark of her tenure at UW. At the same time, she has worked to maintain the university's position as a global leader in innovation and research, and has emphasized the role of the university in nurturing entrepreneurship and driving economic development.

A native Midwesterner, Blank earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Minnesota, and a doctoral degree in economics from MIT.

15th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

William E. Brit Kirwan, Chancellor Emeritus of the University System of Maryland
May 2, 2018

Watch a replay of the 2018 Patterson Lecture.

William E. "Brit" Kirwan is chancellor emeritus of the University System of Maryland (USM). He is a recognized authority on critical issues facing higher education. He served as chancellor of USM for 13 years (2002-2015), president of the Ohio State University for four years (1998-2002) and president of the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 years (1988-1998).

Currently, Dr. Kirwan chairs the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences and serves as executive director of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics. He also chairs the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.

Dr. Kirwan is past chair of, among other boards, the American Council for Higher Education, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

Among Dr. Kirwan's many honors is the 2010 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. In 2009, he received the Carnegie Corporation Leadership Award. He was recently inducted into the Maryland Business and Civic Leaders Hall of fame and was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002.

Dr. Kirwan received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky in 1960 and his master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1962 and 1964 respectively.

14th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, University of Kansas
May 3, 2017

Watch a replay of the 2017 Patterson Lecture.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has bold aspirations for the University of Kansas. Since arriving at KU in 2009, Gray-Little has focused on advancing KU's mission of lifting students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world. In fall 2013, Gray-Little was named to the Board of Directors of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and served as chair for 2015-16. She is an invited member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Prior to becoming KU's 17th Chancellor, Gray-Little held several leadership positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, including executive vice chancellor and provost. She received her B.A. from Marywood College (Scranton, PA) and an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from St. Louis University. As part of a Fulbright Foundation fellowship, she conducted postdoctoral research in cross-cultural psychology in Denmark. She has also been a Social Science Research Council Fellow and a recipient of a Ford Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship through the National Research Council.

13th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

President Janet Napolitano, University of California
May 3, 2016

Watch a replay of the 2016 Patterson Lecture

Janet Napolitano was named the 20th president of the University of California on July 18, 2013, and took office on Sept. 30, 2013. She leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.

As UC president, she has launched initiatives to stabilize in-state tuition and achieve financial stability for the university; improve the community college transfer process; achieve carbon neutrality across the UC system by 2025; accelerate the translation of UC research into products and services; focus UC resources on local and global food issues; and strengthen the university's engagement with its Mexican peer institutions of higher education. She has also implemented the Fair Wage/Fair Work plan, which established a $15 minimum wage at UC for employees and contract workers the first for a public university and implemented a series of reforms to ensure that all UC contractors are complying with wage and workplace condition laws and policies. In 2014, she was appointed a tenured faculty member of UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy.

Napolitano is a distinguished public servant with a record of leading large, complex organizations. She served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-13, as Governor of Arizona from 2003-09, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998-2003, and as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-97.

Napolitano earned a B.S. degree (summa cum laude in Political Science) in 1979 from Santa Clara University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, a Truman Scholar, and the university's first female valedictorian. She received her law degree in 1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law), the University of Virginia's highest external honor. In 2015, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

12th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

President Michael V. Drake, The Ohio State University
May 6, 2015

Watch a replay of the 2015 Patterson Lecture.

The 12th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture featured President Michael V. Drake, on May 6, 2015 in the Ohio Union, Archie Griffin West Ballroom.

Dr. Drake became the 15th president of The Ohio State University on June 30, 2014, following three decades of service as a higher education leader with the University of California.

From July 2005 June 2014, Dr. Drake served as chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. He also served as a Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology (School of Medicine) and Education (School of Education).

During his tenure, the Irvine campus rose significantly on many fronts. The number of applicants for undergraduate admission increased by more than 90 percent, including a more than five-fold increase in international applicants. The university's four-year and six-year graduation rates increased by more than 15 percent, and ranked among the top 10 public research universities nationally.

In his last five years at UC Irvine, the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented minorities increased by nearly 60 percent. Additionally, in 2014, more than 60 percent of the entering freshmen were first-generation students, and more than 40 percent came from lower-income families; both percentages were among the highest in the nation, and evidence of Dr. Drake's steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Read more about President Drake.

11th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

Dr. C. Peter Magrath
May 1, 2014

Watch a replay of the 2014 Patterson Lecture.

The 11th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture featured Dr. C. Peter Magrath on May 1, 2014 in the Ohio Union, Archie Griffin West Ballroom.

Dr. Magrath was president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grand Colleges (NASULGC), now the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), from 1992-2005.

Magrath's extensive higher education administration experience includes serving as president of Binghamton University from 1972-1974; president of the four-campus University of Minnesota for 10 years; and president of the University of Missouri System from 1985-1992.

APLU established the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award in his honor, funded by the Kellogg Foundation, to recognize the outreach and engagement partnership efforts of four-year public universities.

He served as senior presidential advisor to The College Board from 2006 to 2011, and now does consulting work. He also served as interim president of West Virginia University from 2008-2009, where he is credited with bringing immediate stability and credibility to the campus.

He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in political science, and from Cornell University with a Ph.D. in political science. His scholarly interests include American constitutional law, constitutional history and the operations of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as higher education administration and leadership; public policy and financing; and international affairs.

10th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture

Sterling K. Speirn
May 2, 2013

Watch the 2013 Patterson Lecture featuring Sterling K. Speirn

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The 10th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture featured Sterling K. Speirn, President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The 2013 lecture took place on May 2 from 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. in the Ohio Union, Performance Hall.

Sterling Speirn is president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., one of the largest private foundations in the United States.

Since he assumed his role in 2006, Speirn has led the organization through a comprehensive review of its mission, vision and program priorities. The foundation's strategic framework seeks to integrate three core program areas, Education and Learning; Food, Health and Well-Being; and Family Economic Security while emphasizing the promotion of Racial Equity and Civic and Community Engagement as core approaches to its mission to work with communities to create the conditions of success for vulnerable children.

As a result the foundation has placed a special emphasis on dual generation strategies that promote whole family and whole child development from birth to age eight. It seeks to increase the number of children who are born healthy, who enter kindergarten ready to learn, who are successful and proficient by the end of third grade, and as a result are on their way to high school graduation and career and college access. In addition, the foundation has identified priority places to concentrate an increasing portion of its annual grantmaking: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans in the United States, and in Mexico and Haiti for its Latin America and Caribbean programming.

9th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, May 16, 2012

Keynote Speaker: Alma J. Powell, Board Chair, America's Promise Alliance

The Office of Outreach and Engagement welcomed Alma J. Powell as the keynote speaker for the 9th annual Patterson Lecture on May 16 in the Ohio Union, Archie Griffin Ballroom.

She serves as board chair of America's Promise Alliance, which is committed to seeing that children experience the Five Promises the fundamental resources they need to succeed. With more than 400 national partners, the Alliance is currently leading a 10-year campaign, Grad Nation, mobilizing America to end the dropout crisis. Mrs. Powell was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 to be a member of the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Mrs. Powell sits on the boards of several educational, cultural, charitable and civic organizations, including serving as chair of the advisory board for Civic Change, Inc. and member of the YouthBuild USA Advisory Board.

Pictures from the 2012 Patterson Lecture can be found on Outreach and Engagement's Facebookpage.

8th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, May 4, 2011

An Optimist's Education Agenda: Helping More Students Succeed on the Road Ahead by Dr. Mark David Milliron, Deputy Director, Postsecondary EducationU.S. Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Download the presentation (PDF)

Dr. Milliron focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by our current educational landscape, including the rising embrace of innovative technologies, cross-sector collaboration, creative student supports, and data-informed policies. This message echoes President E. Gordon Gee's work to move Ohio State from excellence to eminence and pursue partnerships that promote discovery, innovation, and engagement.

Dr. Mark David Milliron serves as the Deputy Director for Higher Education with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, leading efforts to increase student success in the postsecondary education sector in the United States ( He is an award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant well known for exploring leadership development, future trends, learning strategies, and the human side of technology change. Mark has worked with hundreds of universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world. He serves as a Trustee for Western Governors University and as a board member for Spruce Pine Montessori School. In addition, he serves on numerous other corporate, nonprofit, and education boards and advisory groups; guest lectures for educational institutions nationally and internationally; and authors and moderates the Catalytic Conversations Blog.

Mark brings broad experience to this work. He founded and served as CEO for the private consulting and service group, Catalyze Learning International (CLI). In addition, he previously served as an Endowed Fellow, Senior Lecturer, and Director of the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin; Vice President for Education and Medical Practice with SAS, the world's largest private software company; President and CEO of the international education association the League for Innovation; and as Vice President for Academic and Student Services at Mayland Community College (NC).

Mark graduated summa cum laude with his BS from Arizona State University. He was an Arizona State Regent's Scholar while receiving his MA from Arizona State University; and he served as a Kellogg Senior Research Fellow while completing his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from University of Texas at Austin.

While teaching at Arizona State, Mark received the International Communication Association's Teaching Excellence Award. More recently, the University of Texas at Austin's College of Education honored Mark as a Distinguished Graduate for his service to the education field. In 2005, PBS named Mark the recipient of its annual O'Banion Prize for transformational work in support of teaching and learning. And in 2007, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) presented Mark with its National Leadership Award for his outstanding accomplishments, contributions, and leadership.

7th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture,April 30, 2010

Collaboration, Creativity and Commitment: Valuing the Voices of Knowledge Generators by Jeff Wadsworth, President and CEO of Battelle

Watch video of the lecture in Windows Media format or RealPlayer format. For more information about Jeff Wadsworth, grant recipients, and Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award nominees.

The 21st-century knowledge economy allows us to take advantage of new discoveries at unprecedented speed. In order for all Ohioans to succeed, we must leverage our knowledge generators as engines for the future. World-renowned research institutions and centers of knowledge such as Battelle and The Ohio State University have a responsibility to collaborate on issues including energy, health, food and education to advance the well-being of society and serve as catalysts for invention and growth. Land-grant universities must play a crucial role in both creating and sustaining the partnerships that will lead to prosperity.

6th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, April 24, 2009

The Land-Grant College and the University System of Ohio: Evolving Roles in Higher Education by Eric Fingerhut, Chancellor, Ohio Board of Regents

Video in the Knowledge Bank

Eric Fingerhut gave the 6th Annual Patterson Lecture. Fingerhut is the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. In his lecture, Chancellor Fingerhut addressed Ohio State's leadership role as the state's land-grant university in the University System of Ohio.

5th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, April 15, 2008

Securing the Future: Envisioning the Role of Land-Grant Universitiesby Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President, The Ohio State University

Video in the Knowledge Bank

President E. Gordon Gee gave the 5th Annual Patterson Lecture. President Gee was instrumental in the establishment of Ohio State's outreach and engagement efforts during his first term in office. He shared his insights on Ohio State's role as a 21st century engaged land-grant university.

4th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, May 7, 2007

Adapting Justin Morrill's Vision to a New Century: The Imperative of Change for Land-Grant Universities by Dr. Martin C. Jischke, President, Purdue University

Video in the Knowledge Bank

The 1862 Justin Morrill Land Grant Act set a forward-looking and outward-looking agenda. If Justin Morrill returned today, he would be justifiably proud of the land-grant higher education system that he created. At the same time he would also be concerned about his land-grant universities and their role in 21st century America. The choices are clear. We can continue the old land-grant model of 1862, which has been marginalized. Or we can envision a broader, bolder agenda. In this lecture, Martin Jischke proposes a new agenda for our time.

3rd Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, May 11, 2006

Who We Are Now: The Vitality of the Land-Grant Mission in a Global Knowledge Economy by Dr. Kevin Reilly, President, University of Wisconsin System.

Teaching, research, and public service in the land-grant tradition are vital to the fulfillment of the outreach and engagement mission of colleges and universities in the evolving knowledge economy. Through The Wisconsin Idea, the University of Wisconsin has been sharing knowledge and innovation to improve the state's way of life for more than a century. Dr. Reilly discussed how higher education can thrive by viewing research, economic development, and controversy through the lens of outreach and engagement. He related this mission to "Solutions for Our Future," the new national campaign led by the American Council on Education on the public good represented by America's colleges and universities.

2nd Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, June 2, 2005

Redefining the Land-Grant MissionSemantics or Substance? Universities Are Realigning, Not Only Redefining Their Relationship with Society by Dr. Art Dunning, Vice-President for Public Service and Outreach, University of Georgia.

Full text in the Knowledge Bank (PDF, 338KB).

Universities like Ohio State that have expressed a commitment to redefine themselves as a model land-grant university of the 21st century must also be willing to realign themselves fundamentally. Only by realigning human, financial, and curricular resources can universities really redefine their land-grant mission. Dr. Dunning is leading the University of Georgia's Office of Public Service and Outreach in an effort to do just that. This lecture addressed how universities that are verbalizing the need to redefine their land-grant mission, like Ohio State and the University of Georgia, must also make substantial organizational and resource changes if they are to have substantial and sustainable impact on both the university and community.

1st Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, April 30, 2004

The Land-Grant University of Tomorrow by Dr. Francille Firebaugh, Cornell University

The first Patterson Lecture was given at the University-Wide Outreach and Engagement Conference, Ohio StateThe 21st Century Model for Outreach and Engagement.