One of the world’s most successful mystery writers has just penned a real thriller for Towson University.
James Patterson, the prolific author of more than 67 New York Times bestsellers such as Kiss the Girls and Beach Road, will provide eight scholarships of $6,000 to incoming freshmen who want to be teachers.
Towson is the most recent recipient of his generosity. In the last 10 years, Patterson has worked to instill the joy of reading in young people. His scholarships, along with his readkiddoread.com website and his book donations to schools, are intended to pass on his passion for books and reading and to support those who do the same.
Patterson, whose mother was a teacher, has established education scholarships at approximately a dozen other institutions, including Vanderbilt University and University of Wisconsin. Towson caught his attention because of its longstanding history of excellence in teacher preparation. The university trains more teachers for the country’s top-ranked school system than any other institution.
“I was impressed by Towson’s College of Education and their commitment to urban education, specifically the Towson Reading Clinic, which provides affordable reading intervention in Baltimore,” Patterson says. “These future teachers are already having a tangible impact in their community, and I wanted to help them.”
The inaugural Towson University James Patterson Scholars will be chosen this fall from a select group of candidates with financial need who achieved a strong academic record in high school and plan to be education majors with a focus on developing reading skills.
“Only our most qualified students will be invited to apply,” says Raymond Lorion, dean of the College of Education. “We will work with them continuously throughout their four years of study so that each one will bring distinction to Mr. Patterson through the academic success of the generations of students they will serve.”
Patterson intends to continue to fund their studies as long as the recipients meet Towson’s standards and stay on the teaching track.
“We are honored that Towson University was selected as one of the handful of institutions in the country for the James Patterson scholarships,” TU President Maravene Loeschke says. “This generous gift not only elevates the student academic experience in our College of Education, but it also speaks volumes about Towson’s national reputation for teacher preparation and the top-notch opportunities we can provide to Towson students.”
According to Bookscan, Patterson has sold more books than any other author in the last three years, and his total sales have hit an estimated 275 million copies worldwide. His success isn’t based solely on thrillers like the popular Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.
The 66-year old Manhattan College and Vanderbilt alumnus has seen eight of his books turned into films, and one served as the basis for a television series, “Women’s Murder Club,” on ABC.