Legacy Spotlight

William ’82 and Jenifer Saxon Patrick ’82, daughters Sara ’08 (l) and Annie ’12, and son William

By Warren Miller ’90MBA

William ’82 and Jenifer Saxon Patrick ’82, daughters Sara ’08 (l) and Annie ’12, and son William. Photo by Jill Gable

At first, Bill Patrick was merely a subject for Jenifer Saxon’s constant drawing. “We were in Philosophy of Art class together and I used to draw sketches of him,” Jenifer recalled. “I would see him on the lawn throwing a frisbee. But we didn’t talk until we were both on a Rollins trip to Italy a year later, and we didn’t start dating until after that.”

The relationship deepened, as chronicled by the drawings and writings Jenifer has penned religiously in journals she has kept through the years. Five months after graduating, the Rollins couple appropriately tied the knot in the Knowles Memorial Chapel. “We met with Dean Arnold Wettstein ’06H before the ceremony,” Bill recalled. “After a few minutes, he told us, ‘Okay, you guys are going to be fine.’”

That was an understatement. Thirty years, and three children, later, the Patricks are clearly devoted to each other—and to Rollins. Bill teaches New Testament literature at Asbury Theological Seminary and at Rollins’ Hamilton Holt School. Jenifer is a freelance artist and calligrapher whose talents are sought by the College when an occasional misspelled name on a diploma needs “fixing.” Daughter Sara joined the Rollins staff as administrative assistant in Alumni Relations after graduating from the College, and her younger sister, Annie, is a rising junior art major at Rollins. The youngest of the Patrick siblings, William, a passionate musician, will enter his freshman year at Winter Park High School in the fall—which gives him four years to think about his place in the Rollins family legacy!

Hometown: Bill: Rutherford, New Jersey; Jenifer: Chicago, Illinois, but has lived in Winter Park since grade-school years.

Majors: Bill: art history; Jenifer: English; Sara: psychology; Annie: studio art (Annie was runner-up in the competition to design a sculpture to honor Founding Members of The 1885 Society; see story.)

Origin of the legacy: Bill and Jenifer’s Philosophy of Art class together

Legacy pressure? According to Sara, “There wasn’t any. We accumulated boxes of college catalogs and magazines. In the end, though, Rollins had everything I wanted.”

Common bond: Faith, family, and art—“Yes, we’re all artistic, but I’m the one who decides what is art and what isn’t,” Bill said jokingly.

Known for: Talking. A lot. “You do not want to go on a long car ride with us,” Travis said.

Generation gap: “I don’t think we have one,” the Patricks agree.

Sweet spot: For Jenifer: the edge of the lake behind Cornell, where she would draw, and the large oak tables in the English department

Flashback: Bill and Jenifer and their children became close friends with Fred ’51 ’74H and Joanne Byrd Rogers ’50 ’05H P’81. “I run in the mornings and saw him walking frequently,” Bill said. “One day I introduced myself to him, and the family ties built from there. He was a wonderful person.”

Biggest change in 30 years: “Outwardly, the campus is even more beautiful than it was 30 years ago,” Jenifer said. “But more importantly, when I was at Rollins, I was encouraged by teachers like Hoyt Edge and Ed Cohen to do something that was not common at that time: combine classes from different areas and design my own major. Today, almost every student designs his or her own program to some degree.”