Pat Murray

Areas of Achievement: 
Higher Education
Student Advising

Honored By

Honored by: The Department of Computer Science
Date submitted: April 07, 2008
Gift: Engraved Paver, Small

Born and raised in Kentucky, Pat Murray has always been an adventurous, confident, and independent individual, eager to face challenges and explore new possibilities. After surviving a childhood of cracked knuckles in Catholic school due to her free-spirited attitude, Pat eventually went on to the University of Kentucky to earn her Bachelor of General Studies (emphasis in Women's Studies) at the University of Kentucky in 1976. Soon after, on a spontaneous whim, she packed up and moved to Phoenix.

Pat eventually found herself in Tucson, working as a Records Clerk in the University of Arizona Graduate College, in 1984. She went on to become a supervisor in the Graduate College, where she is still remembered fondly by her former coworkers.

In 1987, Pat began the career that would become her legacy at the University of Arizona: Academic Advising. Her first advising position was in the College of Education, working with graduate students. She left this position while pursuing her Master of Education in Educational Administration, but continued working with students in an administrative capacity during that time. In 1993 she resumed advising in the College of Education, this time working with undergraduates.

Pat accepted an advising position in the Department of Computer Science in 1997, never guessing at the time that this would be the position from which she would eventually retire. During her years as the Program Coordinator, Sr. in the department's Office of Academic Services, Pat has guided and supported hundreds of students, welcomed ten incoming freshman classes at orientation, and congratulated 22 groups of graduating seniors. It is impossible to count how many students' lives Pat has positively touched. With her no-nonsense advising style and her genuine love and concern for students, Pat has served as a source of stability and support for students at their highest moments of achievement and lowest moments of disappointment.

In addition to the support she has provided for students, Pat has also guided and encouraged her colleagues throughout the years. As a supervisor she is compassionate and dedicated, always selflessly encouraging her employees to pursue opportunities and strive to better themselves. As a coworker in the Department of Computer Science, she is relied on as the conscientious and tireless individual who keeps faculty, staff, and students on the same page and ensures that the academic program runs smoothly. To her fellow advisors Pat is a walking advising handbook, always eager to share her knowledge and experiences.

Pat has been honored several times during her years in the Department of Computer Science. The department has twice selected her for the College of Science Staff Excellence Award (1999 and 2006). She received the very first University of Arizona Excellence in Academic Advising Award for Outstanding Professional Advisor in 2006. UA's Advisor Recognition Committee also selected Pat to be considered for the National Association of Academic Advising's Oustanding Advising Award in 2007, the first time this committee has ever chosen an advisor to represent UA at the national level.

While wrapping up her last semester at the University of Arizona, Pat has been heard relaying a favorite Dr. Seuss quote: 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.' We are all so very glad that it happened, but will truly miss Pat's companionship and guidance. And although she will surely miss her colleagues and students, we know she will be happiest in retirement with her true loves: her husband Gary, son Wade, and endless time for fishing.