Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Director of the Patterson Center Retires

About nine years ago, Dr. Frank Mittermeyer (Dr. M) put forth a proposal to have a center on-campus devoted to preparing students who were pursuing the health professions. His knowledge, wisdom, and history of working with these students over the years made him a natural fit to be the first director of what is now the Patterson Center for the Health Professions. He has been a phenomenal leader for the Center and provided support to many students and alumni. Yet, his connection and influence on-campus goes much further back than the birth of the Patterson Center. In 1969, Dr. M joined the faculty in the Biology Department as a microbiologist. He was always willing to assist students in their learning and to this day, is still incredibly enthusiastic about microbiology; in particular virology. His passion for the subject is as infectious as the viruses he studies. He served as Chair of the Biology Department for a number of years and was on several campus wide committees. Beyond the classroom, Dr. M traveled with students throughout Europe not only to study elements of biology and the health care systems in other countries but also to learn about other cultures and languages. 

With so much that he has accomplished and what he continues to offer, it is difficult to see Dr. M retire, but we appreciate all that he has given our campus community and know his legacy will live on after he leaves. In retirement, his fervent desire to continue exploring the world around us will lead him on many more travels around the world. Dr. M already speaks fluent German but plans to learn Spanish as well. Certainly there will be time for relaxing on the lake in northern Wisconsin, where he is originally from, and spending time with his family and friends. Regardless of where he is, Dr. M will find enjoyment in what each day holds, and we wish him the best in retirement. 

A love of biology brought him here.
When facing viruses, he showed no fear.
A jovial man with wisdom to share,
He was called to teach and serve as chair.
With a health professions center to lead,
Student minds he continued to feed.
Retirement called as time passed,
And good-bye seemed to come so fast.
We honor his service in celebration,
Dr. M—thank you for your dedication!

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