The Rev. W. Morgan Patterson, a former president of Georgetown College, died Friday at his home in California. He was 85.
The Rev. Patterson led Georgetown College from 1984 to 1991, a period of significant growth at the Baptist school, officials said. Enrollment rose each year, and the school's endowment grew to a record $16 million.
He also oversaw the purchase of 52 acres of farmland now known as "east campus."
"Without that, we couldn't have handled the growth we've had ... the 128 beds in the apartments, and Cincinnati Bengals training camp," said Garvel Kindrick, a member of Georgetown's class of 1985 and now the school's vice president of enrollment.
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Georgetown College President William H. Crouch Jr., who succeeded the Rev. Patterson, said he had "a servant heart."
"His scholarship will be forever remembered at this place, and we thank God for his time as our leader," Crouch said.
The Rev. Patterson was a historian who taught at four Baptist seminaries during his career, including Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville; he most recently taught at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif. He also continued teaching at Kentucky's Campbellsville University.
The Rev. Patterson is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ernestine N. Patterson; two sons, W. Morgan Patterson II and Jay N. Patterson; and four grandchildren.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Tiburon Baptist Church in Tiburon, Calif., with burial to follow at a nearby cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.