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Dear faculty and staff,
I write to share the sad news that Patricia (“Pat”) Parker, former associate academic dean and instructor in library science, passed away on October 20. Pat joined Augsburg in 1960, was appointed associate academic dean in 1978, and retired in 1991.
Pat received the bachelor of arts degree from Eastern Michigan University and the master of arts and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She was a strong advocate for equity and women’s rights. As associate academic dean, she helped develop Augsburg’s Weekend College. She is survived by two daughters, Sarah Lee ’80, ’91, and Jackie Cherryhomes ’76. Her daughter Jackie is Regent Emerita of the Augsburg Board of Regents, served as President of the Minneapolis City Council, and ran for mayor of Minneapolis in 2013.
Boyd Koehler, emeritus professor and librarian, offers these words about his mentor of many years: “Pat Parker was an early, profound, and articulate advocate of diversity. She championed authors of color through her teaching of children’s literature, thereby enlightening so many future teachers in her very popular classes. She also made a point of helping so many students of color–and countless others–achieve a high comfort level in her classes, and she demonstrated a genuine concern for their academic and social success.”
More information is available in the published obituary (see below).
Please join me in holding Pat’s family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers.