Coming of age in the 1960s, Texas-born Jim Patterson ’73 was a self-proclaimed longhaired hippie who lived all over the world by way of his father’s oil-industry career. He spent much of his childhood in Colombia and Peru, and he graduated from high school in Japan. He attended Sophia University in Tokyo before transferring to Chapman.
“Chapman was like my Ellis Island. Its large international student body made me feel at home,” Patterson said.
Patterson’s Chapman experience included “learning how to be American.” He recalls buying a car and having his girlfriend drive it off the lot because he didn’t know how to drive.
Jim and Lynne Doti were Patterson’s favorite professors. It was during Lynne Doti’s “Money and Banking” course that Patterson knew he would go into banking.
And so it was: The cultured hippie kid became an American banker. Upon graduation from Chapman, Patterson worked at Bank of America in Southern California before relocating with the bank to San Francisco in 1984 and Phoenix in 1994. Now he is president of UMB Bank’s Arizona region. An art enthusiast, he has also served as chair of the Phoenix Art Museum’s Board of Trustees.
“My career was shaped by my willingness to consider geographic relocation and accept new career paths,” Patterson said. “My overseas upbringing helped me learn the importance of diversity, embracing change and relationship-building.”