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A Resounding Tribute to William Patterson at Krannert Center

Honoring a Visionary Educator

URBANA – The Urbana community is invited to gather at a memorial service celebrating the impactful life of William Patterson, a dedicated educator whose sudden passing at 58 has left a void in STEM education and community activism. In remembrance of his enduring legacy, the family has requested contributions be made to [ppp1] in lieu of flowers, perpetuating his commitment to educational enrichment.

Tracing Patterson’s Urbana Roots to Global Impact

From his early days in Urbana’s segregated north end, William Patterson embraced his upbringing with pride, often describing it as the ‘ghetto’ where untapped potential thrived. His life was profoundly shaped by the vibrant hip hop culture of his youth, sparking a lifelong passion for integrating music with technology. Overcoming numerous challenges, including a stint in prison post-high school, Patterson’s resilience transformed adversities into a driving force for positive change.

Catalyst for Community Transformation

Upon marrying his high school love, Lori Gold, and achieving a Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies, Patterson dedicated his career to fostering technological and creative skills in young minds. He was a pivotal figure in organizations like the Urban League and the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, where he spearheaded initiatives that married STEM with the arts. His pioneering project, the Hip Hop Express, brought hands-on STEM education directly to the community, enriching young lives with the promise of technology and innovation.

Inspiring Future Generations

William Patterson’s legacy is a beacon of hope and transformation, demonstrating the profound influence one individual can have on a community. As we celebrate his life at the Krannert Performing Arts Center, we are reminded of our duty to nurture and support the potential within each young person. This event not only honors his memory but also inspires us to carry forward his vision of accessible and engaging education for all.