Behind the crown: Patterson’s relationships prosper Ouachita experience

December 2, 2019

More than a Homecoming Queen.

More than a Tiger Tunes director for Campus Ministries Time Travel.

More than an RA.

Betsy Patterson’s accomplishments only evidence her character.

A senior secondary math education major from Garland, Texas, Patterson has used her years at Ouachita for personal development and being intentional about forming relationships. 

“I have always loved Betsy’s passion for…relationship building,” said James Taylor, Director of Campus Ministries. “We have gotten to know her as a family.”

Patterson’s relationships characterize the experiences she’s had at Ouachita. She’s cultivated community, taken advantage of opportunity and created memories.

Whether it be the sweetest moment of walking the football field with her dad at homecoming or the frightening moment of hitting a deer on the way to the Gurdon light with a carload of strangers, stories of her days as a Tiger have shaped her college experience. These memories will live on past graduation.

Her family members have played a large role in preparing her for her success in college.

“They taught me important things early on in my life,” Patterson said. 

As a kid, Patterson played “school” with her older brother. She credits these moments with developing her love for learning. Her love for math specifically came from a combination of trying to be the favorite child and wanting to be like her mom, a math teacher.

Understanding math became a way Patterson could connect with her mom. She admired her mom and gleaned much from her growing up.

“One of the biggest things my mom taught me was commitment,” Patterson said. 

On the days that she has been discouraged or tempted to give up, Patterson leans into the value of commitment. She faithfully meets with friends and pursues the Lord.

Patterson’s parents raised her to follow the Lord. Since being in college however, her faith has transformed from something learned to something personal. She now has her own answers for her beliefs and serves God in her own ways.

“It is so easy to compare your faith to others, especially at Ouachita,” Patterson said.

Watching peers lead and serve in different ways creates a temptation for evaluation. She has learned to find contentment with how God chooses to use her.

During one of her many trips serving in Tanzania, Patterson more fully grasped the importance of each individual’s roles and stories. She shared a piece of her testimony that to her seemed insignificant and small, but God used it to draw multiple Tanzanian children to Himself.

Patterson’s family also taught her to value laughter.

“My dad and brother and sister are the wittiest people I know,” Patterson said.

The prominence of humor in her family impacted how she uses humor in her friendships. 

“I just think that laughing bonds people,” Patterson said. She uses it to fuel friendships.

Patterson’s college experience taught her personal and spiritual lessons. 

“I just think a lot of what I’ve learned in college is just the importance of prayer,” Patterson said.

Whether driving through town, working on a mission trip, or walking around campus, Patterson works to apply the practice of praying without ceasing. 

Walking each moment with the Lord brings comfort in times of worry. She has learned to seek forward motion amidst feeling overwhelmed.

“There is always an action you can take to find a solution,” Patterson said.

This lesson reminds her of something her mom used to say to her: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

By Rylee Roberts, staff writer

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