The Department of History is mourning the loss of WMU Graduate and Professor Emeritus Dr. Dale Pattison, who passed away at his home on April 16, 2012, after a lengthy illness. Pattison served three years in the Marine Corps before returning to Kalamazoo to attend Western, where he earned a B.A. magna cum laude in history and geography. He then began teaching history at Grosse Pointe High School and while there he received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship at Yale University as one of the nation’s distinguished teachers. Pattison came to Western Michigan University in 1963 as an assistant professor of history while continuing to work on his doctorate, which he received from the University of Chicago. During his long career at Western, Pattison taught a wide range of classes, including courses in historical methods and Latin American history.
Colleagues and students alike remember Pattison as a thoughtful and dedicated teacher. Dr. Bruce Haight, Professor Emeritus of History, recalls that Pattison was “someone who cared about students’ writing skills, who pushed them to read more, and equally as someone who cared about them as a person. I might add that Dale didn't stop caring when you left his class. Each time I have met Dale over the past two decades he inquired about my son, his former student, and took a genuine interest in what he was doing.” Pattison retired from the University in December 1995, but remained active in the community, regularly coming to Department and University functions, and generously supporting undergraduate history students through the History Emeriti Fellowship Program.
Dr. Pattison is survived by his loving wife Kelley, daughter Linda Pattison and son-in-law Steve Allen of Cary, NC. To honor Dr. Pattison's memory, Kelley Pattison has created Dr. Dale P. Pattison Memorial Scholarship Fund in History to serve undergraduate students. Memorial contributions may be made to the WMU Foundation, 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5403, or directly to the Department of History, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334.