Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., presented Joanne Holbrook Patton ’52 with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at its 73rd commencement earlier this summer.
Patton, an emerita member of the Sweet Briar board and the 2001 recipient of the College’s Distinguished Alumna Award, is owner and CEO of Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, Mass., a certified organic farm. Before assuming its leadership when her husband, Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, died in 2004, Patton owned and directed Patton Consultant Services, a national resource agency providing trainers, consultants and speakers to nonprofit organizations.
As the mother of five, including a mentally challenged son, Patton has made the concerns of people with disabilities a personal cause during her 28 years as a military wife and in her civilian community service.
According to a news release on Endicott’s website, Patton co-founded the Special Friends program for adults with special needs and earlier co-founded and produced a cable television program, “Ready, Willing, Enable,” highlighting services for persons living with disabilities.
Patton’s life as an Army wife led to numerous volunteer roles, including assignments as the first appointed national volunteer consultant for the Services to the Armed Forces of the American Red Cross and consultant to the Army Community Service. She served for many years on the National Military Family Association Board of Advisors and was awarded both the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal and the Distinguished Civilian Service Decoration from the Department of the Army.
Patton has served on countless boards including the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, the North Shore Music Theatre, CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and Norwich University’s Board of Fellows.
Three organizations have established scholarships in her name.
Patton has no formal association with Endicott, although she has worked with the Massachusetts college on shared community projects in the years since she moved to the state in 1980.
The citation presented with the certificate reads in part: “Your positive spirit, your sage advice, and your energy and enthusiasm have truly enriched those with whom you have come in contact. Because of your commitment to make our community better, you have truly made a difference.”
Patton says she was deeply honored by the recognition and suggests she finds it humbling, too.
“As I told the Endicott students at their graduation, I will have to spend the rest of my life trying to earn the honors I have received in my old age,” she said. “Of course, you can be assured that the endorsement of my life by my alma mater, Sweet Briar College, will always be one of the highest honors I could receive — ever!”
Category: Alumnae and Development