Photo: New TPF Fellows, Abby Rolland and John Ferguson

The Patterson Foundation Welcomes the Next Cohort of Fellows to the Suncoast Region

Posted on March 04, 2020 by The Patterson Foundation

The first year of the Fellows Program has been full of connecting with The Patterson Foundation's initiatives, learning new philanthropic approaches, and sharing valuable knowledge from her studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI for the inaugural Fellow, Hannah Seager Karnei. As the program enters its second iteration, The Patterson Foundation is excited to welcome this next cohort of Fellows.

Two aspiring philanthropic leaders from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, John Ferguson and Abby Rolland, have been selected to join The Patterson Foundation as Fellows. Now in its second year, The Patterson Foundation's Fellows Program provides a year-long opportunity to gain experience and learn innovative philanthropic principles while contributing to initiatives strengthening people, organizations, and communities.

The Fellows Program is a partnership between the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world's first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy, and The Patterson Foundation. Ferguson and Rolland will have an opportunity to share their expertise and learn along the way as they work hand-in-hand with the Foundation's initiatives.

"The Patterson Foundation is pleased to welcome this next wave of Fellows to the Suncoast region," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "Through this unique partnership, The Patterson Foundation is sharing valuable insights learned throughout a decade of joyful stewardship. Together, the Foundation and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy are building a strong network of future philanthropic leaders as they shift from learning to creating new possibilities for our world."

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

"The Fellows Program has been an invaluable experience," said Hannah Saeger Karnei, inaugural TPF Fellow and graduate of the school's Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program. "Through my work at The Patterson Foundation, I have built upon my education from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and deepened my passion for helping to accelerate innovation in the field."

Both members of the new Fellows Program cohort will bring a strong blend of academic and professional experience in the philanthropic sector to their new roles. Ferguson serves on the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy's Alumni Board. He works as an engagement manager for Indiana United Ways, where he develops and hones strategies for a statewide network of United Ways. Rolland launched and managed the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy's official blog as the school's communications project manager. She will earn her Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from the school in May.

"I am thrilled to have been chosen as one of The Patterson Foundation Fellows for 2020-2021," said Rolland. "I am so excited to learn from and work with an innovative foundation that is truly making an impact in its community. I strongly believe that this experience will bolster my knowledge and understanding of philanthropy and powerfully shape what I hope to be is a career of giving back."

"I could not be more thrilled to become a Fellow at The Patterson Foundation," said Ferguson. "I am confident that my experiences, both academic and professional, have prepared me well for this next step in my career. Working side by side with the incredible people at The Patterson Foundation, in a supportive and innovative environment will be both challenging and affirming as I get the honor to contribute to something great while learning and honing my skills as a nonprofit professional."

As the vanguard of philanthropy education for more than three decades, Indiana University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy educate and prepare students and practitioners to be thoughtful, innovative leaders who awaken generosity and inspire change. Students enrolled in its Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program learn through a combination of in-depth research, study the history, culture, and values of philanthropy, and learn and hands-on professional practice in areas such as fundraising, volunteering, and civil society.

The partnership between the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and The Patterson Foundation has unearthed additional collaborative opportunities, such as offering a spring study away course. Through the course, students will spend their spring break learning about key topics for the future of the philanthropic sector and connecting with nonprofits in the Sarasota area engaged in The Patterson Foundation's initiatives.

"The Patterson Foundation's strategy embraces innovation, intentionally exploring new approaches that hold the promise of substantive change for the lives and communities it serves," said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. "The opportunities the Fellows Program affords Abby and John will allow them to glean additional perspectives and skills that will serve them well throughout their careers. Likewise, the knowledge and ideas these two dynamic young leaders bring to the Foundation will help advance its mission and the goals of its partners in meaningful ways."

Ferguson and Rolland will work and learn with The Patterson Foundation in Sarasota, Fla. from May 29, 2020, through May 30, 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 learn more about The Patterson Foundation, visit

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