Dr. Patrick Arbore began working at NDNU more than 30 years ago. This week, we had a chance at the NDNU employee recognition luncheon to recognize his service and amazing impact on so many people. What follows is the speech about Patrick given by Dr. Greg White, Vice President for Academic Affairs:
Dr. Patrick Arbore has long been beloved by students. He is one of the founding faculty in the Human Services program, working closely 30 years ago with Deb Cash and Ralph Barsi to create a program that continues to make a difference for so many, students who may have given up on ever getting a degree and then found new hope for their lives when they walked into one of Patrick’s classrooms. Thousands of students have been in class with Dr. Abore; most, when finishing one course, will ask then to take “anything else he teaches” because they have such deep appreciation for his wisdom and teaching excellence. It is telling that many of the students who will say, “he is my favorite professor ever” will also say that his course was the “hardest class I ever took.” One recent grad elaborated, saying that “the things I learned from his Social Research Methods course are helping me survive graduate work.”
His colleagues speak similarly of Patrick. Therese Madden and Judy King tell students who are new to NDNU and taking a class with Patrick that they will know immediately that they are in the right place once they are in his classroom because he is both brilliant and kind. No student has ever contradicted this assessment; in fact, they report that his lessons remain with them for many years, informing their own work with various communities.
Students and alumni responded to the announcement of this celebration of his 30 years at NDNU with numerous stories of gratitude for both his teaching and for the connections he has helped them to make. He inspires in the community in many ways, bringing the NDNU Hallmarks to all of his work. He is a nationally recognized expert in gerontology, has won multiple national awards through the American Society on Aging, won the Institute on Aging’s 2016 Norma Satten Community Service Innovation Award, and was a Jefferson Award winner in 2014. He founded the Institute on Aging’s Help Line, which provides suicide presentation and grief related services to the elderly and has devoted his life to increasing awareness of isolation, loneliness, and depression in older adults through both his work at NDNU, his work with the Institute on Aging, and through frequent presentations. His work educating audiences promotes better-informed and healthier communities whose members have increased understanding of the issues of aging, inner loneliness, sorrow, stress, and anxiety, and enable people of all ages reach out to listen, make connections, and support each other as we adjust to the experiences of older age.
One colleague reported that she “had the honor of working with Patrick at the Institute on Aging.” She said that his credo ‘Our connection to others is what binds us to life’ has reshaped how I view my capacity for impact as a human being. He himself is an amazing human being!”
We are grateful to Dr. Arbore for his many years of service to students at each of our four campuses, in each of our emerging formats, and always in ways that touch lives and hearts for years to come. An instructor who can change the way that people view themselves in relation to their power to act on behalf of others is a rare gem and we are privileged to celebrate his 30 year anniversary with NDNU today.