Gaylord Hawkins Patterson

Photo from Dickinson College Photo Collections

    Gaylord Hawkins Patterson born on August 18, 1866 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania lead a very diverse life. He was a minister, a teacher and a student. Patterson was also the forerunner of the teaching of Sociology in American Colleges and Universities.
    Patterson attended Allegheny College but graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1888. Four years later he graduated from the Boston University School of Theology. Before coming to Dickinson College, Patterson taught at Williamette University as a Professor of History and Economics and as a Professor of Social Science. Patterson arrived at Dickinson College in 1915 as a Professor of Economics and Sociology. He was the only man to teach economics, sociology and political science when he came to Dickinson. As more faculty members were acquired, Patterson did not have to teach as many subjects1. In 1930, Patterson became Professor of Sociology. He also was Dean of the Junior class from 1928-1930. Patterson remained at Dickinson College as Professor of Sociology until his retirement in 1939. He was the second man in the history of the college to retire as Professor Emeritus of Sociology2 .
    Besides his contributions to education, Patterson spent fourteen years of ministry at the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also had many publications such as, "The Social Significance of the Heaven and Hell in Islam," and "The Chief Aim of High School Education and the High School Course of Study in Relation to the Elementary Course from the Social Point of View." Patterson died at the age of 74 on June 5, 1940.


    1. "Patterson Retires." The Dickinson Alumnus. vol. 17, no. 1 (September, 1939): 8.
    2. Ibid.,


    Dickinson College, Microcosm, 1934, p. 32, Dickinson College Archives.
    "Patterson, Gaylord Hawkins" Dropfile, Dickinson College Archives.
    "Patterson Retires." The Dickinson Alumnus. vol. 17, no.1 (September 1939): 8, Dickinson College Archives.
    "Patterson Dies." The Dickinson Alumnus. vol. 18, no. 1 (September 1940): 6, Dickinson College Archives.

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-Cynthia L. Mackey '03
Class of 1934     Chronicles

Dickinson College

Dickinson 1934 is a project of Prof. Osborne's History 204 Class, Fall Semester 2000.