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Boyd Crumrine Patterson Edit Profile

college president

Boyd Crumrine Patterson was a mathematician and the 9th president of Washington & Jefferson College.


Patterson was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania on April 23, 1902 and graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1923, completing his studies in three years. His father, John P. Patterson, was a member of W&J's class of 1885. His grandfather, Boyd Crumrine, a noted local historian, was in Jefferson College's class of 1860.


AB, Washington and Jefferson College, 1923. Doctor of Laws, Washington and Jefferson College, 1970. Postgraduate, University Chicago, 1923.

AM, Johns Hopkins University, 1925. Doctor of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University, 1926. Doctor of Laws, Waynesburg College, 1953.

Doctor of Science, Duquesne University, 1965. Doctor of Humane Letters, Jefferson Medical College, 1967.


In 1926 he wrote a dissertation "Differential Invariants of Inversive Geometry" for his doctoral degree. Continuing to collaborate with Morley, they co-wrote a paper on algebraic inversive invariants in 1930. In 1943, Patterson became the chair of the mathematics department at Hamilton.

In 1950, he returned to W&J to assume its presidency. In that position, he oversaw curriculum revisions, updated admissions standards, and generally enhanced Washington and Jefferson's reputation. All told, 17 buildings were constructed during Patterson's tenure, including the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity House, the Wilbur F. Henry Memorial Physical Education Center, 10 Greek housing units in the center of campus, the U. Grant Miller Library, the Student Center, the Commons, and two new dormitories.

The athletic fields also were improved. In 1952, the college's two war surplus barracks, Washington Hall and Jefferson Hall, were dismantled. During his presidency, the college's endowment expanded from $2.3 million to nearly $11 million\r\n On December 12, 1969, the Board of Trustees authorized the admission of women as undergraduate students, to be effective in September 1970.

Dr. Patterson retired on June 30, 1970. He died of a stoke on July 12, 1988 in his home in Clinton, New York.


Member American Association for the Advancement of Science, Mathematics Association American (vice president New York section 1949-1950, president 1950-1951), American Mathematics Society, Middle States Association Colleges and Secondary Schools (commission on institutions of higher education), Pennsylvania Association Colleges and Universities (president 1956-1957), Duquesne Club, Fort Schuyler Club, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Psi.


Married Eleanor Dennison, August 3, 1927.

John Pollock Patterson

Louisa Celeste (Crumrine) Patterson

Eleanor Dennison