About Pat Walker
Pat Walker exemplifies the ideals of the Public Affairs Mission, and has "worked for the greater good" for more than 60 years. To honor her service, leadership, and contributions to the community, the Missouri Public Affairs Academy was named after Pat Walker in 2018.
Brent Dunn, VP for University Advancement announced the "Pat Walker Missouri Public Affairs Academy" to students and community leaders for the first time during a surprise naming ceremony. "Pat is Public Affairs!"
Pat Walker shares with the 2018 Academy graduates and their families that Public Affairs is a way of life. "When you say you'll do something, follow through and honor your commitment."
Some of Pat Walker's Accomplishments
Pat and her family moved to Springfield, MO in the summer of 1959. Since then, she has served on more than 30 national, state, and local boards of directors. Her most meaningful volunteer activity was to help grow the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and serve on the Board of Directors. The list below provides a snapshot of her dedication to the community:
- In 1964, she started volunteering with the Visiting Nurse Association - the area's first provider of home health care - and continued that service for decades, including many years on the Board of Directors.
- An early and active member of the Junior League of Springfield, Pat was awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Pat worked with the League of Women Voters and frequently served as an election judge in Greene County.
- Pat Walker established Meals on Wheels in Springfield, MO.
- In the late 60s, she served as the president of the Missouri Medical Association Auxiliary. Her later work with the AMAA brought her to the attention of the producers of the Phil Donahue Show where, in 1979, she appeared as a guest representing the Doctor's Wives of America. She even designed and sewed her own beautiful dress for the show.
- She served on Springfield's Planning and Zoning Commission in the late 70s.
- Pat Independently researched hospice care around the country, brought it to her fellow board of directors at the Visiting Nurse Association and they, with Pat's leadership, established the first hospice care in Springfield in 1980.
- She negotiated the arrangements and contracts when Visiting Nurse Association was acquired by Mercy, and continued volunteering with the VNA Foundation as it transitioned into the Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation.
- Pat volunteered with Ozarks Public Television for years, both behind the scenes and on television during fund drives. In 2001, as Chair of the OPT Board of Directors, she instigated and negotiated the transfer of the OPT license to Missouri State University.
- She volunteered with the Downtown Springfield Association, even managing their office for several years.
- She was a beloved Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, and after volunteering for many years as a Troop Leader for the Dogwood Trails Girl Scout Council, she served as President of the Board of Directors for eight years.
- Pat was active on the Springfield Greene County Library Foundation Board of Directors.
- She served on the Wilson's Creek Battlefield Foundation for many years, even working in the August heat for days during the first major reenactment next to the park.
- In 1999, Pat was selected as a Founding Board Member of Lost and Found.
- She established Founders' Park after 11 years of personal dedication and hard work, to ensure the history of Springfield could be enjoyed by future citizens and visitors. As part of this project, she initiated a large-scale tree planting project for Park Central Square.
- Pat Walker was the first woman awarded the Springfield Business Journal's Most Influential Women in Business Award in 2003.
- She received the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award in recognition of her work to establish Legal Aid of Southwest Missouri.
- She received the Springfield Gist of Time Award for her decades of volunteerism.
- She received the Community Foundation's Jewll Thompson Schweitzer Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2006.
- In 2007, the Missouri House of Representatives made a proclamation recognizing Pat's accomplishments.
- Pat Walker received an Honorary Doctor of Public Affairs from Missouri State University.