Patricia Cornwell '79
Her nine novels, which have been translated into 22 languages, consistently hit number one on the best-seller lists and stay there. Thousands stand in line at her book signings. Her research has been called meticulous and the details of her novels perfect.
Despite her worldly success and the demands on her it brings, Patricia has never forgotten her alma mater. Because, as she stated, "Education is our only hope for civility, and the enlightened young must lead the way," she created the Patricia Cornwell Scholarships for students with exceptional ability and promise in writing. The Cornwell Scholarship introduces Davidson to talented students throughout the country, and currently eleven Cornwell scholars are contributing to the literary life at Davidson as editors and award-winning writers. Equally important, however, is her gift of precious time, reading applications and coming to campus each spring to interview the finalists. She also develops personal relationships with the scholars, who have described her role as "enabling and supporting our development as writers, no matter what direction or style we chose."
Because the world is your laboratory, and you are sensitive to the shadows of humanity; because you have brought Davidson College into millions of households across the globe; because you care about young writers and nurture their development; and because you make Davidson College proud to claim you as her own, the Alumni Association presents you, Patricia Cornwell, the Distinguished Alumna Award on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of coeducation at Davidson, October 23, 1998.