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Renowned author selects MSU for scholarship program

With $60,000 in scholarship support, best-selling author James Patterson is helping to ready future teachers for promoting literacy in urban areas.  Photo by Deborah Feingold.

 James Patterson, best-selling author of suspense novels, detective stories and children’s books, is creating a scholarship program at MSU to support College of Education students in specialized training for literacy development in urban areas.  Patterson and his wife Susan have funded other scholarships at their three alma maters: Manhattan College, Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin.  He said he decided to explore an investment at MSU because of its strong reputation for teacher education and its urban initiatives.

“I wanted to give a hand to eager students who take on the challenge of becoming great teachers,” says Patterson, who has long championed literacy and education through such initiatives as the James Patterson Page-Turner Awards that rewarded creative and effective ways to spread the joy of reading.

His $60,000 gift to MSU will result in eight $7,500, annually funded, scholarships for students entering the Urban Educators Cohort Program this fall.  Designed to prepare students for the unique challenges of working in urban areas, the cohort enables students to spend their first two years at MSU being mentored by successful urban educators, visiting urban classrooms and taking targeted courses. 

Candidates for the scholarships must demonstrate potential to become leaders in urban education and select English or Language Arts as their teaching major or minor.

MSU’s College of Education’s graduate programs in elementary and secondary education ranked first in the nation for the 18th consecutive year in U.S. News and World Report’s latest editions of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

Patterson has had staggering success in book publishing—he holds the Guinness World Record for the most hardcover fiction titles on the New York Times best-seller lists (76 and counting) and his books sell by the millions each year.  His commitment to MSU will help ensure the next generation of teachers is ready to spread the excitement of reading and all that follows.