香蜜影视

Generous Bequest Continues Col. Melissa Patrick鈥檚 Thoughtful Support of 香蜜影视

Col. Melissa Patrick with students

In 1975, Colonel Melissa Patrick 鈥78 spent the months between her first and second years at Mary Baldwin taking courses at Virginia Military Institute鈥檚 (VMI) summer session. She had been fascinated by military history since childhood, and took advantage of a tuition exchange program with VMI to get ahead on college credits.

That summer stint was her first time away from home, after being a day student at Mary Baldwin where her father 鈥 the beloved late chemistry professor James Patrick 鈥 taught. From a rented room in Lexington, she went to her first class with all male VMI cadets, feeling quite  intimidated.

鈥淏ut as I walked across that campus, I remember having a moment of confidence where I said to myself 鈥榳ait, you are a Mary Baldwin student and you are as well prepared as any of these cadets.鈥欌 

Pride in her college buoyed her spirits, and became a wellspring far into the future.

鈥淢ary Baldwin gave me a strong sense of self-confidence, and a belief that I could compete with anybody. That feeling has never left me.鈥澛

鈥淢ary Baldwin gave me a strong sense of self-confidence, and a belief that I could compete with anybody.”

Patrick went on to a decorated 28-year career in the U.S. Army, including deployments in Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea, and Afghanistan. As a master parachutist, she jumped out of 65 airplanes. She was selected for the Army War College Advanced Strategic Arts Program, and received the Legion of Merit for her service. Often, she stood out as the only woman among her many career achievements.

Through those rigorous years of active duty, Patrick didn鈥檛 forget Mary Baldwin. Upon joining the military, she immediately set up a recurring donation through a monthly allotment. 

With a strong sense of practicality, she understands that the university鈥檚 bills have to be paid, but she also wants to provide direct support to students as they too build that vital sense of self-confidence at Mary Baldwin. With them in mind, she has also given to an endowed scholarship named for her father ever since graduating.  

鈥淎t the time I started giving, I didn鈥檛 fully understand how much scholarship support goes to Mary Baldwin students, that practically every single student has part of their bill paid by donor support. That鈥檚 so important to know and to contribute to after you graduate.鈥

Many Mary Baldwin students have benefitted from Patrick鈥檚 longstanding support, both financially and in planning their futures. She returned to Staunton in 2006 and starting in 2012 served for two years as deputy commandant for the Virginia Women鈥檚 Institute for Leadership. She remains close to the corps and helps mentor cadets on their career goals in both the public and private sectors.  

Col. Melissa Patrick with Mary Harvey and President Jeff Stein

As 香蜜影视 begins a new chapter in its history, supported by the All In for Mary Baldwin Campaign, Patrick has made a generous bequest to her alma mater that will ensure generations of students can develop the skills and leadership traits needed to chart their own path to success. 

鈥淢y approach to this donation is that there鈥檚 a need for balance between unrestricted giving and growing the endowment. I understand that both those things need to be done, and I鈥檝e tried to support both aspects. I鈥檓 hoping that others will follow, and look at their investments.鈥 

Though Patrick is 鈥 as she puts it 鈥 鈥渞etired from income-producing activities,鈥 she continues to find meaning and energy through service. She鈥檚 active in her church, many veterans鈥 organizations, volunteerism, and the local community. For example, she worked for many years on a project that to honor two African American residents and war heroes.

鈥淚 can鈥檛 imagine living a life that鈥檚 not devoted to service of some sort. It鈥檚 not that I get up each morning and say I have to be of service, but if you鈥檙e going to do something meaningful, it鈥檚 not going to be about yourself.鈥 

For this philosophy and her purposeful, dedicated support, the Mary Baldwin community is profoundly grateful.

鈥淢y approach to this donation is that there鈥檚 a need for balance between unrestricted giving and growing the endowment.”