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Alumnus returns to campus to give international studies scholarship

March 20, 1997

By Cindy Szelag

Lariat Reporter

University alumnus Alton J. Patton III returned to campus Wednesday to establish an endowed scholarship for international studies.

Patton, a 1994 University graduate with a degree in political science and Asian studies, is establishing the Virginia and Alton Patton Jr. scholarship for exchange students in Japan.

When he was 19, he participated in the Baylor in London program, an experience that he says convinced him to travel west in his second study program.

'I wanted to do something that no one else was doing,' Patton said.

Patton established the scholarship to aid future students who want to travel abroad.

'I am here today because I stand on the shoulders of spirits who were here before,' Patton said.

Dr. Gwin Morris, associate vice president of University development, said this is an excellent opportunity for students to take advantage of the generosity of alumni.

'We often sit under trees we didn't plant,' Morris said. 'We often benefit from the gifts of others.'

Patton, who was born in Fort Hood, said coming back to Central Texas and showing the children here that they are important was another reason he wanted to establish this scholarship.

'I'm trying to inspire other people to contribute something positive,' Patton said.

Morris said he hopes that eventually scholarship programs will be established for exchange programs in France, Spain and other countries.

'We hope this scholarship will encourage other scholarships,' Morris said.

The scholarship is dedicated to his parents, who also have careers in telecommunications. This scholarship will help with the tuition fees, travel expenses and room and board for University students studying at the Seinan Gaukin University in Japan.

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