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April 15, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU graduate receives University of Alabama honor

Sarah Patterson, a 1978 Slippery Rock University physical education graduate and celebrated 35-year head women’s gymnastic coach at the University of Alabama, has received the Amanda Grace Taylor Watson Distinctive Image Award from the Capstone Men and Women organization at the University of Alabama's Honors Day.

The award is presented annually by the UA Capstone Men and Women organization. The award, named in memory of former Capstone Woman Amanda Grace Taylor Watson, is given to persons who exemplify the essence of the university in all aspects of life.

Patterson has led the Crimson Tide to six national championships, an NCAA-best 28 regional championships and 31 appearances in the national championship competition. The two-time defending NCAA Division I national champion and a recently crowned regional champion, Alabama is ranked third heading into this year's national championships, which begin April 19 in Los Angeles.

In addition to her coaching duties, Patterson is the driving force behind the “Power of Pink” initiative that raises awareness in the fight against breast cancer that has raised more than $1.25 million for the DCH Breast Cancer Fund established by Alabama gymnastics and the DCH Foundation in 2004 to help women in need prevent, detect and treat breast cancer. In 2005, she was also named to the DCH Foundation Board.

Patterson has served in Alabama's athletic administration as associate athletics director since 1985 and was on the SEC executive committee, the NCAA women's gymnastics committee and the NCAA recruiting committee.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.