Generous gifts to Carleton will benefit MacOdrum Library

Wingate Snaith and Bert and Mona Patterson will always be remembered for their lifetime of generosity to friends, children, and now to the Maxwell MacOdrum Library.

The former skating champion and the couple, who were Carleton alumni, have left the library about $2 million in two separate endowment funds.

“Some people like to give more than they receive,” says Andrée Aylan, a longtime friend of Snaith.

The Pattersons’ donation will help purchase publications, journal subscriptions and electronic resources. In addition, their money will go towards enhancements to the physical layout for students, research and teaching services for students and improvements to the library’s current collection.

Snaith’s portion will go towards buying books, magazines and periodicals.

Rowena Griffiths, director of personal and planned giving at Advancement Services, worked closely with the Pattersons for nine years. She recalls how they felt about Carleton’s library and says their endowment fund sends a strong message about a library’s importance to a university.

“They believed the library was the heart of any institution,” Griffiths says. “They were a wonderful, wonderful couple.”

Snaith, who was known for being active in all kinds of sports, attended St. Patrick’s College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967.

After his mother died in 1975, he wanted to do something in memory of his parents. He left money for the Carleton library because he was an alumnus and also because of his belief in the longevity of libraries.

“Libraries are lasting buildings. A library is a place that’s never finished,” Aylan says of Snaith’s feelings about libraries.

The Pattersons, who also have a math bursary in their name, had deep connections to Carleton. Carleton’s first president, Henry Marshall Tory, signed Mr. Patterson up for night classes in accounting in the 1940s, while Mona was active in the Library Circle of Friends.

Mr. Patterson’s connection to Carleton stayed strong after his wife died. The Carleton alumnus’ last outing before he died was sitting down for lunch last September with President Roseann O’Reilly Runte.

Margaret Haines, university librarian, says the money comes at a perfect time since there is a high demand for journals and books, both print and electronic.

“Every year, we face requests for new resources from faculty and students beyond what we can afford,” she explains. “The generosity of Bert Patterson and Wingate Snaith will have a major impact on the library and our ability to serve current and future students and faculty at Carleton.”

This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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