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Wingate names chief diversity officer

Dana Patterson

Wingate University has named Dr. Dana Murray Patterson its new chief diversity officer.

Most recently serving as the director of intercultural affairs at Western Carolina University, Patterson has nearly three decades of experience in higher education. Her prior posts include director of the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom at Antioch College, director of the Talmadge Anderson Heritage House for Black Studies at Washington State University, and director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Emporia State University.

She has served as president for the Jackson County Branch of the NAACP and the director of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center at Wright State University.

“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Patterson join Wingate to ensure that our educational environment is one in which a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff belong, thrive and succeed,” said Dr. Rhett Brown, University president. “Dr. Patterson will partner with University constituents across the enterprise to formulate goals and strategies that better serve all students and employees who come our way.”

Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree in social science from Berea College, her master’s in student personnel services in higher education at Eastern Kentucky University. In 2006, she completed her Ph.D. in higher education administration at Washington State University with an emphasis in cultural studies and social thought in education.


She has experience in residence life, judicial affairs and leadership development and has presented nationally and internationally on issues related to diversity, cultural identity and intersectionality.

Patterson comes to Wingate following a monthslong nationwide search. Prior to her hiring, she met with administrators, the senior management team, trustees, faculty and staff members and a group of students, for whom she offered a teaching demonstration.

A mother of four (one son, three daughters, all adults), Patterson enjoys aquatic arts, African dance and karaoke. Her first day at Wingate will be Oct. 3.

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