Virtual Founder's Day 2021

Join your fellow alumni for a look back at the origin of Florida Tech with our resident university historian, Dr. Gordon Patterson!


Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Time: 4:00pm EDT (Convert to your local time zone)
Location: Zoom (You will receive the link when you register)

On this 63rd birthday of the Florida Institute of Technology, one of our beloved professors will tell us the story of the founding of our great university, looking back at where it all started with Jerome P. Keuper in 1958 in Melbourne, Florida. Dr. Patterson will share secret histories and conversations that he had with our founding president, keeping these stories alive for us all to share with pride. Because this story of our alma mater is one that, in turn, led to the evolution of each of our stories. 

There will be an opportunity for questions after Dr. Patterson's presentation.

We will conclude the event by giving away Florida Tech swag to a handful of lucky alumni participants!

Questions? Contact Jillian Leclerc: jleclerc@fit.edu

About Dr. Patterson

Gordon Patterson, Ph.D. is a professor at Florida Tech's School of Arts and Communication and has taught at the university for 40 years. He currently teaches courses in environmental history, history of science (ancient and medieval), history and culture of China, history and culture of Japan, United States history (reconstruction to present), ancient civilization, and modern civilization.

He is widely regarded as Florida Tech's resident historian, and his book, Florida Institute of Technology published in 2000, showcases the school's extraordinary history. 

A beloved professor on campus, Dr. Patterson has won numerous faculty awards, including:

  • Faculty Service Award 1988-1989
  • Faculty Teaching Award 1992-1993
  • Florida Tech Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award 1995
  • Faculty Service Award 2011-2012
  • Lambda Chi Alpha Faculty Member of the Year 2013-2014


In April 2019, the botanical gardens on the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne, Florida were officially named the Joy and Gordon Patterson Botanical Gardens, honoring the couple's commitment to the health and legacy of the gardens.

Dr. Patterson has received six awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1998 and 2003, he taught the summer semesters in Seoul, Korea, and Misawa, Japan as part of the University of Maryland's Asian division. Patterson received a Fulbright Travel Study Grant in 2004 for research in Malaysia and Indonesia. He is the past chair of the social science section of the Florida Academy of Science, a former director of the Florida Historical Society, former director of the Florida Humanities Council, and past member of the Board of Advisors to Florida Defenders of the Environment. In 1994, Dr. Patterson was named to the panel of judges for the Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award, given by the American Astronautical Society.

Register Here!