Dwight Patterson (1934) Alumna/Alumnus of the Year award

Dwight Patterson graduated from NAU in 1934 and was president of the NAU Alumni Association in 1946. He won both the Alumni Service Award and the Distinguished Citizen Award. He was responsible for bringing Major League Baseball to the state and was chosen to toss out the first ball at Bank One Ballpark (currently Chase Field) to initiate “the big leagues” at the first Diamondbacks game in 1998. He was also called "Mr. Mesa," because he was the driving force for Mesa clean government. He was a landowner, financial investor, and a giant in education, serving on the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State Board of Public Instruction, and Arizona Community College Board. Dwight was also a great football player for NAU, and he was inducted into the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987. He passed away in 1999.

The Dwight Patterson Alumna/Alumnus of the Year award is presented annually to an alumna or alumnus who has achieved outstanding success in his or her professional career. Service to NAU or the Alumni Association is not a requirement. Preference is given to those who have earned a degree from NAU. 

To submit a nomination for next year’s Homecoming, e-mail a completed Nomination Form to Erin Bertelsen by May 31, 2017 or mail to NAU Alumni Engagement, PO Box 6034, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.

Current award winner

Dr. Diana Gabaldon, '78 PhD, '07 Honorary Doctorate, is the 2016 Dwight Patterson Alumna/Alumnus of the year.