News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Patricia Ann Kearney, May 15, 1943 — November 23, 2020

Patricia Ann Kearney passed away peacefully at home on November 23, after a long illness. Her family were by her side and she was surrounded by the light of candles sent by many friends in Sisters and from around the country.

Pat was born on May 15, 1943, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of William F. Kearney and Helen L. Hartz. She is survived by her companion of 25 years, Carol Wall of Sisters, whom she married on the first day it was legal, and by her brother, Michael Kearney of Florida and South Carolina, as well as by nieces and nephews.

Pat earned a B.A. from Michigan State University, and an M.A. from Indiana University, and completed doctoral work in Higher Education Administration from Oregon State University. She worked at university campuses across the country, but her career was primarily at UC Davis, where she moved through the ranks from assistant director of residence life to executive director for student housing and financial aid. She is remembered for her skills as an administrator, her committed work on behalf of students, and her development of innovative programs.

During her 28 years at UC Davis, she helped to conceptualize, finance, and operate a growing inventory of campus housing and developed one of the most diverse and innovative residential life staffs anywhere in the country. She was committed to student development and cultural competence within the environment of living-learning communities. She helped students draft a statement of the principles of living together in community that was later refined and adopted by the entire campus to become the UC Davis Principles of Community.

Pat’s impact on UC Davis was formally recognized in 2006, when a new residence hall was named in her honor, Patricia Kearney Hall.

Professionally, Pat led the way nationally in the development on university campuses of public-private partnerships for housing and childcare services. She was involved in many national associations, serving as President of the American College Personnel Association in 1987-89. The ACPA has recognized Pat’s contributions on the national level with a memorial resolution.

In retirement Pat pursued activities she loved, including extensive international travel to Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and Maui. She loved classical music, reading and the outdoors and was a key volunteer in several capacities at the Deschutes Land Trust. She also served on the Budget Committee at Central Oregon Community College and as president of her local homeowners’ association.

We will remember Pat as a “wicked smart” woman with a fun-loving, adventurous spirit and a beautiful smile.

Donations may be made in Pat’s name to the Deschutes Land Trust or to a nonprofit of your choice. No flowers please.


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