Pattilyn Drewery Memorial Endowment for Community Access
by Becca Brado |
Pattilyn Drewery was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 29, 1952. She graduated from the Syracuse Newhouse School of Public Communications and drove her Datson down the Alaska Highway in the summer of 1976 to work as traffic director of the Anchorage NBC affiliate. Over the next 15 years, Pattilyn made her mark on Alaska. She became the news director at the NBC affiliate, director of Anchorage's community access cable company, chairperson of STARR and the first project director of remote access learning for UAA.
On Oct. 12, 1991, Pattilyn collapsed while at work and was rushed across the street to Providence, where she died three days later at only 39 years old. Her family arrived in Anchorage just in time to say goodbye. They held a memorial service at a local Presbyterian church where, to their surprise, the sanctuary was packed. In her short time Pattilyn had made many friends in the political, university and communications sectors. In addition to her family, those that grieved her death included Sen. Ted Stevens, Juanita Cassilius and Patrick Worcester.
Her sister, Diane, describes Pattilyn as a free spirit, artistic, bright and a devotee to community causes. Pattilyn's commitment to public broadcasting inspired the creation of the Pattilyn Drewery Memorial Endowment for Community Access. This endowment supports the Department of Journalism and Public Communications (JPC) at UAA.
Pattilyn's fund has made a significant impact: facilitating media literacy training, partnerships with organizations like Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and initiatives in graphic design and broadcast production. It has also contributed to critical educational events, such as film screenings and scholarships for deserving part-time students.
For example, JPC recently awarded scholarships to two part-time students who didn’t qualify for full-time scholarships. These amazing filmmakers were deserving but only able to pursue their higher education part-time. The people who donated in Pattilyn’s memory enabled these students to continue their education while alleviating their financial burdens. View a reel of a powerful short film by Drewery fund scholarship recipient Feng-Ching (Jiin) Chang.
By contributing to the Pattilyn Drewery Memorial Endowment for Community Access, you too can support classes, workshops, production expenses, equipment, and scholarships for students pursuing JPC related studies while honoring the life of a remarkable woman.