Best-selling author James Patterson has recently helped a few UF students solve the mystery of how to pay for college.
The author — set to release a book later this month — recently donated $48,000 to UF’s College of Education via his philanthropy organization, the Patterson Family Foundation.
The money created eight scholarships for eight elementary education majors, said Maria Gutierrez Martin, senior director of development at the College of Education.
Shannan Campbell, a 19-year-old UF elementary education freshman, was one of the scholarship recipients. She said she felt relieved when she found out she’d won.
“I am unable to receive help from my family,” she said. “They don’t have the ability to help me financially.”
Campbell, who is a full-time student and a full-time employee at Chili’s restaurant, said she is grateful Patterson made the funds available, and she said she hopes he continues to donate money to other colleges as well.
Each recipient will receive $6,000. To continue receiving the money, they must write a yearly essay describing how they plan to use what they learn in college, Martin said.
“It’s a great example of a person who has been successful in his career,” she said. “He and his wife want to support and give back to areas that they find meaningful.”
UF is not the only school that Patterson has donated money to. According to his website, the Patterson Family Foundation awards scholarships to about 20 colleges nationwide every year.
Elizabeth Bondy, director of the School of Teaching and Learning in the college, said she believed Patterson chose to donate money to UF’s College of Education because of its innovative teaching program.
A version of this story ran on page 4 on 9/4/2013 under the headline "James Patterson donates scholarship funds"