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The Faces of Opportunity Vanderbilt
Photo of Griffin Eoghan Patteron

Griffin Patterson

Class of 2020, Patterson Scholarship

Every year, Vanderbilt’s Office of Active Citizenship and Service sponsors a student organization fair that showcases all the ways students can get involved. Griffin Patterson went and scooped up as much information as he could. Today his list of extracurricular activities and service projects is lengthy—and fulfilling.

“I was involved as a student VUceptor and had 18 first-year students in my visions group,” Patterson says. “I was responsible for leading them through orientation. I’m intentional about serving as a good role model, and I provide them with an upperclass resource.”

Patterson has also served as one of the organization’s leaders as the Outreach Co-chair of the VUcept Executive Board. “We facilitated orientation for 1,600 new students and the 92 VUceptors,” he says. “We’re charged with crafting a really meaningful experience.”

“One of the most important parts of coming to college is broadening your world view.”

This busy human and organizational development major is also a peer mentor for the Commons Leadership Council and part of Vanderbilt’s Mock Trial team. Additionally, he belongs to an elite student group known as Patterson Scholars—a program created by author James Patterson (no relation) that is part of the Opportunity Vanderbilt initiative.

“The 10 of us are working in small groups to investigate different examples of educational inequality in Nashville,” Patterson says. “The scholarship comes with a stipend to do some type of research or service project over the summer. I’ll be traveling to Norway and Bulgaria on a service trip that fulfills the mission of the scholarship.”

Vanderbilt’s commitment to diversity—distinguished by our community which welcomes respectful dialogue and fosters a culture of civility—is one of the reasons Patterson made it his number one choice when searching for his college home.

“It’s one thing to admit a diverse student body, but it’s another thing to shoulder the cost. Here, everyone who can get in has an equal opportunity to attend,” he says. “To me, one of the most important parts of coming to college is broadening your worldview and being exposed to lots of different belief systems and ways of living and backgrounds. That’s what Vanderbilt provides.”