Photo: Connor LaGrange

The Patterson Foundation Welcomes Connor LaGrange as Its Next Fellow

Posted on March 10, 2021 by The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation, in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, has selected Connor LaGrange to become its next Fellow. This is the third year of the Fellows Program — a year-long opportunity for aspiring philanthropists to gain experience and learn innovative philanthropic principles while contributing to initiatives that strengthen people, organizations, and communities.

The Fellows Program is an opportunity provided by The Patterson Foundation under its Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative. This initiative encompasses a series of creative efforts developed in collaboration with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy — the world's first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy — to strengthen the capabilities of emerging philanthropic leaders.

"The Patterson Foundation is excited to welcome Connor LaGrange to the Suncoast as the next Fellow," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "Over the past two years, the astute Fellows from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have had the opportunity to immerse in The Patterson Foundation's approach to philanthropy while investing their knowledge and experience for the greater good."

Through its partnership with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation aspires to share the knowledge and insights gained through its collaborative work with the next generation of community, corporate and private foundation leaders. Since 2010, The Patterson Foundation has strengthened people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and fostering wide participation and ways organizations learn and share as they evolve.

"The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and work with a truly innovative foundation," said Hannah Saeger Karnei, inaugural TPF Fellow and graduate of the school's Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program. "Through my time in Sarasota, I've had the opportunity to grow exponentially both personally and professionally, and I look forward to bringing a new Fellow into this challenging and rewarding experience."

LaGrange will bring a strong blend of academic and professional experience in the philanthropic sector to his new role. His background includes working with multiple nonprofit organizations to develop and implement educational and human services initiatives. He served in a fellowship with a movement design studio that helps build movements for social change and was an international intern with a nongovernmental organization in Kenya. LaGrange is expected to earn his Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in May 2021. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies from the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI in May 2019.

"I am overjoyed at the opportunity to become a part of The Patterson Foundation family and connect with the people in the greater Sarasota area," said LaGrange. "This fellowship will offer the opportunity for continued learning, sharing, and evolving and creates a space for me to learn to ask bold questions and chase after making our shared aspirations a reality. I look forward to a year in Sarasota and to working alongside people who are actively changing the world for the better."

For more than three decades, Indiana University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have prepared students and practitioners to become thoughtful, skillful leaders who inspire change. Students enrolled in its Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program learn through a combination of in-depth research focused on the history, culture, and values of philanthropy and hands-on professional practice in areas such as fundraising, volunteering, and civil society.

Beyond the Fellows Program, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and The Patterson Foundation have collaborated on additional endeavors through the Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative. This includes two learning electives teaching students about network building, values-driven work, systems thinking, and the importance of communication. These electives have been offered to students currently enrolled in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and its alumni network.

"We continue to be impressed by the innovative, strategic approach The Patterson Foundation employs as it strengthens opportunities for the people and communities it serves, and we are pleased to join them in this ongoing partnership," said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. "The Patterson Foundation is committed to engaging and inspiring future philanthropic leaders, and we thank them for their willingness to share their expertise with our students and alumni. As a Fellow, Connor will gain valuable insights and experiences that will serve him well throughout his career, and Connor's knowledge, ideas, and passion for changing the world will enable him to make significant contributions to advancing the goals of the Foundation and its partners."

LaGrange will join The Patterson Foundation in Sarasota, Florida, on July 7, 2021. Future graduates of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy's master's degree program will be eligible to apply for future cohorts of the Fellows Program.

For more information on the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and its programs, visit

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