150 Profiles: Bonnie M. Patterson

As a way to mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist profiled Canadians from across the non-profit sector and put a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector. As 2017 drew to a close, we published our final profile of 2017 — reaching our target of speaking with 150 people! The Philanthropist recognizes that Canada’s history did not begin 150 years ago. And it will continue beyond 150 years. In this spirit, we will continue to profile people in the non-profit sector throughout 2018.

Name: Bonnie M. Patterson

Current role in the sector: Professor Emeritus; Consultant, Higher Education; Board Chair, Roberta Bondar Foundation

Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: Over 40 years

Bonnie Patterson profile picture

What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
I started as a lecturer at Western University after graduating with my first degree that began my 40-year career devoted to the post-secondary education sector and other organizations where philanthropy plays an important role.

Describe your desk/workspace.
I have a roll-top desk with MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers on it and file folders on the left and right side of the desk — volunteer work on the right and work files on the left.

What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
Read on the web, purchase new books as they are released and subscribe to several magazines all related to higher education globally; follow 300 Twitter feeds and frequent recommended reading lists in non-profit governance through the Institute of Corporate Directors from which I hold the professional designation ICD.D.

What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
Demographics. There is a huge gap between the numbers of those getting ready to retire and those relatively early in their career. We all need to support the education and training of those coming along behind us, provide mentoring support and encourage others to seek careers in the non-profit sector.

Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at philanthropistprofiles@gmail.com

Bonnie Patterson is a professor emeritus; consultant in higher education; and board chair, Roberta Bondar Foundation

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