Michael Patterson has been named associate vice president of student engagement & leadership at William & Mary, a position in Student Affairs that leads key initiatives at the university, including student veteran engagement and civic and community engagement, and works with William & Mary’s 500+ recognized student organizations. He begins on July 25.

Patterson, most recently assistant vice president for student affairs at State University of New York at New Paltz, has more than 20 years of experience in the field and a deep connection to university values of integrity, flourishing and excellence.

Michael Patterson (Photo courtesy of State University of New York at New Paltz)

“Dr. Patterson brings considerable expertise in the areas of student leadership development, civic engagement and belonging,”said Ginger Ambler, senior vice president for student affairs and public safety. “Dr. Patterson’s approach and philosophy are wholly consistent with ours at William & Mary. He, too, sees the university as a ‘laboratory for life’ where students explore and practice what they’re learning in a host of out-of-class settings that both support and challenge them. Our university is fortunate to welcome such a talented and caring student affairs leader.” 

In his new role at William & Mary, Patterson will lead the offices of civic and community engagement, student unions & engagement, student leadership development and student veteran engagement. Supporting more than 500 recognized student organizations – student media and publications, fraternity and sorority life, Alma Mater Productions (AMP) programming board, performing arts groups, cultural and religious organizations, student government and more – his team intersects with just about every W&M student during their time on campus.

“I am honored to be joining the Tribe,” Patterson said. “It is clear from meeting with students and staff that William & Mary fosters an environment where students not only succeed, but also have incredible opportunities to engage and develop into their best selves.”

Patterson will collaborate with students, the community and departments across campus to promote high-impact and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. Reporting directly to Ambler and serving as a member of her senior leadership team, Patterson will lead his staff to help students become equipped as educated citizens and empowered leaders.

Patterson’s tenure at SUNY New Paltz is marked by increasing responsibilities and program expansion. He began there in 2008 as director of student activities and union services before becoming director of the center for student engagement. At New Paltz, he was responsible for a large-scale reorganization of several student affairs offices. During COVID-19, he oversaw remote facilitation of student programs, orientation and student government advising.

“Michael Patterson’s impact at SUNY New Paltz can be felt across the student experience, in programs related to onboarding, clubs and organizations, commuter support and transportation, mental health, disability support services, employment, food insecurity and many more,” said SUNY New Paltz President Darrell P. Wheeler. “Mike has consistently centered our students, their engagement and their sense of belongingness on our campus. We thank him for his service and wish him well in his new role.”

Patterson has served as assistant vice president of student affairs at SUNY New Paltz for the past three years. Among other duties, he oversaw student governance, including serving as the Student Association’s fiscal designee. 

He has chaired campus task forces that explored the Jewish and LGBTQ+ student experiences with a scholar-practitioner approach, guided leaders in student governance and served as a member of the university’s team supporting students through crisis. 

Since September, Patterson has led the entire student affairs division in an interim capacity. 

Mike received a B.S. in business administration from SUNY – University at Buffalo, a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from Northeastern University.

, Leadership & Internal Communications Specialist