Our former President, Pat Farrell, passed away Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
Pat served on the Mount Nittany Conservancy board from 1998 – 2007 and as our President from 2004 – 2005. As noted by Bill Jaffe, MNC Director Emeritus and former MNC President, “Pat was a special person, who did much for MNC during a difficult period.”
Pat was a lifelong volunteer, to highlight just two of Pat’s many accomplishments:
In 1975, Pat was the spokesperson for a group that convinced the Penn State Board of Trustees to revise the Alma Mater to use “childhood’s gate” rather than “boyhood’s gate” and “Dear old State” rather then “into men.” Pat was also an active member in the State College Mortar Board Alumni group. Brenda Frawley Walsh, President of the group, said “One of our most remarkable State College Mortar Board alumnae members has left a lasting legacy that death cannot take away. I am personally grateful that we have included a tribute to Pat’s leadership in our Mortar Board Initiation ceremony. By changing the Penn State Alma Mater to reflect author Fred Pattee’s original intentions Pat quietly honored women at her beloved alma mater. When we conclude our annual Mortar Board Initiation ceremony with the Alma Mater we will always honor Pat, as well.”
In 1998, Pat was named by Penn State their Renaissance Honoree in recognition of a lifetime of service to the Penn State and State College communities.
The Centre Daily Times‘s Cliff White wrote an article entitled “Leader Farrell left a lasting legacy on the region.” In the article, MNC Director Emeritus and Penn State trustee Anne Riley is quoted as saying:
She would climb Mount Nittany every New Year’s Day, according to Riley. “She loved the mountains,“ Riley said. “She used to say, ‘Hills are our friends.’ She mean that jokingly, of course, especially when she was crossing the Rockies on her bike. But she loved a challenge, and I think that statement could be a great metaphor to describe her life.”
You can read the full article as a PDF here.
Pat’s obituary from the Centre Daily Times can be viewed as a PDF here.
Mere words nor a few pages of text can capture Pat’s life, so we won’t try. We can be sure that she would want us to move onward and upward. Her love of Mt. Nittany must be with us now. Her spirit has joined so many others like Bill Ulerich and Mike Lynch who keep a silent watch from the Mountain down on Penn State in the valley below.
“Hills are our friends.”