Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary dedicated Paige and Dorothy Patterson Hall Oct. 14, honoring the man who called himself Baptists’ “chief troublemaker” and who led the seminary as its fifth president from 1992-2003.
“My name is on the building,” said Patterson, after thanking students, administrators and donors for all they mean to the seminary’s success. “But I have enough sense to know it should be your names up here.”
Paige and Dorothy Patterson Hall will be Southeastern’s flagship academic building, according to seminary officials, with six full size classrooms, 20 faculty offices, and office space for a number of advanced programs as well as the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture.
Southeastern President Danny Akin said Bush, who died Jan. 22 at age 63, showed people that “somehow faith matters in life” and he taught so that “a Christian world view permeates life.”
“Dr. Bush was a gift to us,” Akin said. “We pray this building is a gift to him and his legacy.”
Officials said that utilizing skilled seminary student workers to build cabinetry and 220 bookshelves with 4,088 feet of shelving saved at least $150,000 on the $6.6 million building. Akin said the building will be paid for by December.
Patterson called Southeastern a “hub of academic inquiry.” After naming a cadre of persons he brought with him into administration, including Akin, and saying Southeastern graduates are highly placed in denominational life, he said, “It is amazing how much Southeastern has influenced everybody.”
Patterson is currently president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.