That's Where My Heart Is

Pat Jacobs

There was a time in Patricia (Pat) Jacobs' life when she wanted to be a famous actress. Life had other ideas, and led her instead to a successful 45-long year career in TV and radio. However, her love and appreciation of the arts remained with her, and it is at the heart of her enduring dedication to Purchase College.

Pat Jacobs gave to Purchase College through a charitable gift annuity. "But it isn't just about leaving it in in your will," Jacobs emphasizes. "It is about taking those first steps, getting involved."

Jacobs is a long-time Westchester resident. She has fond memories of moving to the area as a young parent, and taking her children to visit the "moo-cows" on the farm that later became the Purchase campus. As both her children and the College grew, she began to see how the arts could serve as a bridge between the two. She approached then President Sheldon Grebstein in 1982 with her plan to develop an arts-in-education program for area students as a volunteer. "I'm all for it. You do it," she was told. And so she did—coordinating performances, contacting schools, arranging for buses. Her tenacity and passion got the program up and running, and introduced thousands of local schoolchildren to jazz, dance, and the Purchase College campus.

From this starting point, her service to Purchase deepened, and now includes a 20-year membership on the Purchase College Foundation Board of Trustees, leadership for numerous benefits, and staunch support of the Adopt-A-Dancer scholarship fund.

The more time Jacobs spent at Purchase, the more she came to appreciate the tremendous value of a public higher education, and to understand the struggles faced by many of our students in trying to achieve their educational goals. She considers herself fortunate that she is able to leave a lasting legacy, to support students and to give them opportunities to study, create, perform, and learn about the world. "That is where my heart is," says Jacobs.

In thinking about the future, she comments on the importance of cross-cultural education and thinking globally, and hopes to see an expansion of programs that offer a global perspective. Today's students need to understand everything about all four corners the world, because, after all, "they are going to have to run it." With the support of donors like Pat Jacobs, future Purchase grads will be well equipped to do so.