Published: June 21, 2013

Former MSU trustee Patricia Carrigan dies

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129

Patricia Carrigan, a former member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees who also provided the funding for an endowed chair in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has died. She was 84.

A member of the MSU board from 1971 to 1979, Carrigan was the first woman elected to the board and the first woman to chair the board.

In 1999, with a bequest of $1 million, she established the Pat Carrigan Endowed Chair in Feline Health. That led to the creation of the Center for Feline Health and Well-Being.

Today more than 70 faculty members are affiliated with the center, which supports the education and training of undergraduate students, veterinary professional students, graduate students, intern and residents, and post-graduate veterinarians.

In addition to endowing the chair, Carrigan made a bequest of her collection of cat art and memorabilia to the MSU Museum. The gift included a $25,000 endowment for the care and storage of the collection and for the creation of exhibits at various sites on campus.

She also provided a gift to establish the Pat Carrigan Woodwind Scholarship Fund in the MSU College of Music.

Carrigan received a bachelor’s degree in education from MSU in 1950. She taught in Battle Creek and Willow Run public schools for several years before pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan.

She was the director of research and evaluation for the Ann Arbor public school district until 1973, when she left for industry.

During her career, she has amassed a number of “firsts.” In addition to being the first woman elected to the MSU board, as opposed to being appointed, she also was the first woman to manage a General Motors assembly plant and gained national recognition for her work in labor-management relations and participative management.

In recognition of her many achievements and contributions, MSU presented her with a Distinguished Alumna Award in 1988.

A memorial service is planned for later this summer or early fall.

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