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Sam Patterson to leave the university for an opportunity in Mississippi

Sam Patterson, director of parking, transportation and safety systems, is departing Boise State after serving the university since 2011. Patterson will be assuming a similar role with the University of Mississippi beginning in June 2020.

“There are very few individuals who are good with people and who also love parking,” Randi McDermott, chief operating officer and vice president for campus operations said. “We were lucky enough to have one in Sam.”

In his nine years at Boise State, Patterson contributed to many significant events. He has worked every home football game since 2011, helped to manage a U.S. Presidential visit, navigated “snowmageddon” and oversaw tens of thousands of visitors to Albertsons Stadium for the Garth Brooks concerts.

“It’s been a wonderful ride,” Patterson said. “These are among the many things about Boise State I will always remember.”

Patterson also is proud of the impact he made in shifting away from a focus on single-occupancy vehicles on campus.

“In talking to students and parents at orientation, we turn the narrative to embracing campus life by not bringing a vehicle,” he said. “To hear from those students later how much they loved the ease and convenience of, say, the Bronco Shuttle, that is really meaningful to me and it signals a shift away from a ‘drive everywhere’ mentality.”

McDermott credits Patterson’s leadership and passion for driving this change.

“His enthusiasm for new challenges, his willingness to adapt and his laser-focus on customer service all played a significant role in shifting that culture,” she said. “He will be sorely missed, but we wish him the best in his new endeavor.”

Sam Patterson and Barb Beagles
Sam Patterson, left and Barb Beagles survey road conditions during “snowmaggedon.”

The move to Mississippi will allow Patterson to be closer to his twin brother, younger brother and mother.

“My mother needs to see her grandchildren grow up,” he said. “My kids need to spend time with their cousins, uncles, aunts and other relatives that haven’t been a part of their lives so far.”

All of the managers currently reporting to Patterson now will report to John Kaplan, associate vice president of public safety, until a replacement has been hired.

“Sam is universally respected on campus and known, locally and beyond, as a parking and transportation industry expert,” Kaplan said. “What further distinguishes him is his empathetic, compassionate and gentle-yet-highly-effective leadership style. Everyone who has worked with Sam is deeply appreciative of his coaching, mentoring and sense of humor. Most of us have refused to acknowledge he is actually leaving, but are pleased he has this exciting opportunity and chance to finally live near his family.”

During his time on campus, Patterson could often be found walking a loop along the greenbelt, past Albertsons Stadium and back along university drive, a routine he will miss greatly.

“Of course, I wanted to get my steps in,” he said. “But mostly I walked that route because every time I did, it reminded me how lucky we are to work at Boise State.”