Retired history teacher Patrick Healey has always had a passion for performing arts.
During his 30-year career as a teacher at Pawnee School in Grover, Colo., Healey continually
made an effort to bring students to the College of Performing and Visuals Arts events
at the University of Northern Colorado. After retirement, Healey moved to Greeley
so he could attend UNC performances and events even more frequently.
In 2005, Healey attended a UNC performance at the Union Colony Dinner Theater in Greeley
and says he will never forget the conversation he had with a student named Jonathan.
“I learned that there aren’t as many scholarships for people in theater,” Healey says.
It was at that point Healey decided to help, so he started the Patrick E. Healey Musical
Theatre Scholarship to encourage students to pursue performing arts and help relieve
their financial stress.
Since the scholarship was established in 2006, Healey has stayed in touch with many
of his recipients, always offering encouragement. He says, understandably, many out
of state families cannot attend every student performance, so he happily serves as
a stand-in and has become accustomed to hearing, “You come, as my family can’t.”
“There are so many talented students and faculty—it’s a pleasure for me to get to
know so many,” Healey says.
Healey looks forward to supporting students well into the future and he even hopes
to increase the impact of his philanthropy. That’s why, this past summer, Healey
decided to include UNC in his estate plans with a planned gift.
“Pat’s support over the years has changed the lives for a number of students, not
just financially but also emotionally,” says Ben Barnhart, Assistant Vice President
of Development. “Hearing him share stories about his connection with past scholarship
students and how they still stay in touch is truly remarkable.”
As Healey reflects on those relationships and the impact he’s had on these students,
he can’t help but smile. Healey looks forward to many more UNC productions to come,
and as he watches those students on stage, he sees a bright second act that he’s proud
to play a part in.