Patterson Court – History
Patterson Court 
“Each of the fraternities will have a separate house, and are scheduled for use in the fall of 1958. ‘We hope that the new court,’ he [D. Grier Martin] said, ‘will be as pioneering and modern in the fraternity housing field as the present court was when constructed in 1928.’ Several colleges have used the present court as a model in constructing fraternity housing.”
– “Ex-Pastor’s Gift Assures Davidson Fraternity Court.” Charlotte Observer. 6 June 1957.
Patterson Court consists of thirteen small houses located behind (to the north-east) of Vail Commons. The houses are numbered 1-12 clockwise beginning with the house on the south-west corner. The 1998 house (across the street) is number 13.
The first twelve Patterson Court houses open. Construction costs $500,000. The name sake and donor is William S. Patterson, class of 1903.
Fraternities are forced to accept self-selection policies. Four fraternities have their charters withdrawn, two disband, and two move off-campus. Four accept self-selection and remain on the court.
The college demolishes the Ovens College Union in order to build E.H. Little Library. Two unused Patterson Court houses that stood next to the current Vail Commons are converted into dining facilities.
Two Patterson Court buildings (3 and 10) are moved to make way for Vail Commons.
Rusk, the college’s first all-female eating house, is founded on the court.
One Patterson Court building is used as a residence hall until 2000.
Major renovation of Patterson Court buildings.
Alcohol Monitors are introduced at Patterson Court parties, and the college hires its first Patterson Court advisor (Kurt Holmes).
Risk Managers and Sober Monitors replace Alcohol Monitors. The first Patterson Court Council (PCC) by-laws are drafted.
“The Patterson Court Council (PCC) is the self-governing body of the Patterson Court organizations. Council membership consists of two representatives from each fraternity and three representatives from each eating houses. The Council elects from within its membership eight executive board members and is assisted and guided by the Patterson Court Advisor who works in the Residence Life Office. Bi-weekly PCC meetings are open for any student to attend.”
– Patterson Court 2004 Brochure
The Judicial Board (J-board) is established to judge offenses by student organizations on the Court. PCC receives an office in the Alvarez College Union. The New Member Series is established. A program for new Patterson Court student organizations members, the New Member Series is designed to facilitate discussion of current student issues.
Order of Omega, a national co-educational honor society for Patterson Court affiliated juniors and seniors, is founded.
Kegs banned are from campus.
There is a failed appeal to allow sororities on campus.
Turner House is constructed (across the street from house number 8) due to overcrowding of the three current eating houses.
A minimum 2.0 GPA for student members of a court organization is established. The PCC launches a new Self-Study and Standards program, designed to reward Patterson Court student organizations for maintaining or exceeding standards in seven areas: Academics, Finances, Programming, Facilities, Membership, Service, and Faculty/Staff Relations.
The administration bans streaking, punished by social probation.
Patterson Court Occupants
Since 1958, the Patterson Court has been home to 30 different student organizations, residence halls, and dining establishments.
Student organizations rent their houses from the college on a yearly basis but must purchase a liability insurance policy. They purchase all furnishings and small appliances and are responsible for day-to-day cleaning (subject to inspections by the Patterson Court Advisor). If they wish, they may hire a cook and are responsible for kitchen operations.
Patterson Court – Works Cited
Baldwin, Lindy. “PCC, administration haggle over streaking.” The Davidsonian. December 6, 2000: 1, 4
“Changes on Patterson Court.” The Davidsonian. January 26, 1999: 1,3
Crouch, Michelle. “Davidson students who streak will be stripped of privileges.” The Charlotte Observer. December 17, 2000
Email correspondence to Jan Blodgett from Grahaeme Hesp. Subject: Lifestyle Speakers’ Series 2002-2003. Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
Grotjohn, Mark. “Patterson Court.” Guide to Campus Buildings <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x18137.xml>
Grotjohn, Mark. “Jackson Court.” Guide to Campus Buildings <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x18137.xml>
“Ex-Pastor’s Gift Assures Davidson Fraternity Court.” Charlotte Observer. 6 June 1957
“The Fraternal and House System at Davidson College Timeline Toward 2000.” Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
Latenich, Becky. “Fourth House May Provide Some Choices.” The Davidsonian. 89.17 (February 10, 1998): 1, 3
“Online Campus Map.”August 2003. <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/Images/AboutDavidson/off_g_dcmapcolor03.gif>
“Patterson Court -1958.” Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
“Patterson Court – 1996.” Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
“Patterson Court.” Brochure. 2004. Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
“Davidson College Patterson Court Facts.” 1999. Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
“Patterson Court Handbook 1986-1987.” Patterson Court Davidsoniana file. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC
Author: Tammy Ivins
Date: July 2007
Cite as: Ivins, Tammy. “Patterson Court” Davidson Encyclopedia July 2007 https://digitalprojects.davidson.edu/omeka/s/college-archives-davidson-encyclopedia/page/patterson-court-history