Pat Tognozzi: 1986-1999
She had the CAN DO attitude
I first met Pat just after I started working on this campus in 1989. She was so enthusiastic and happy, I thought it was an anomaly. It turns out this is the way Pat always was.

She was the type that made you want to go to Ireland and see the culture that influenced her and that she loved. It was a great pleasure to know her, and a terrible loss to me and this campus community when she passed away.

As an Instructional Aide in the Tutorial Center, she touched many lives. Pat was very supportive of her daughter, as Jamie Lee struggled with a lengthy illness, and traumatic procedures. Pat still worked hard for students here. Jamie Lee's death hit Pat very hard. Jamie was only 37 years old. It's terrible watching your child die.

Irish Club: She was instrumental in it's start, taught Galic and worked hard to keep it going.

ESL: She valued the ESL students, and wanted them to have a good experience here. She gave presentations, and tutored them. She was their advocate.

Pat and the Hats: For one lunchen with a special theme, Pat bought hats for everyone. At the end of the luncheon, she wanted all the hats back. They still had the store tags on them for a reason!

(Included here is the part of the speech relevant to Pat. Kathryn will be honored on another site along with those whose names are not on the plaque.)


Welcome to all of you this afternoon! My name is Gino Muzzatti-an ESL Instructor on this campus. I feel very honored to have been asked to open up this part of our ceremony today, May 10, which is Mothers Day – (Dia de las madres)- in Mexico, a country well represented by our ESL, College Skills , and Tutorial Center students. Together they join with their teachers, SRJC administrators and classified staff and guests at this special dedication. Mothers Day in Mexico is always May 10th regardless of which day of the week it falls on and is also celebrated on May 10th in other countries around the world such as Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. It takes on a special significance in all these countries since it is a national holiday and it is the day family members gather around their beloved mothers to thank them for all their love and sacrifice. It seems fitting , therefore, that on this Mother’s Day, we have gathered in the World Cultures Garden at Santa Rosa Junior College to celebrate the lives and gifts of two wondrous human beings and mothers, Kathryn Mattis and Pat Tognozzi, These two incredible women shared their love of knowledge, culture and learning with all of us, and especially with our ESL students.

Pat Tognozzi had a heart of green and gold- the colors of Ireland. Pat worked with countless ESL students in the Tutorial Center over the years guiding them through their struggles with the language-mothering them as though she were the mother they had left behind. Pat was so assessable to all of us; she had a knack for getting people excited and involved- be it in the Irish Club, Day Under the Oaks, or in planning tutorial workshops for her new crop of shiny-faced tutors. It was that “can-do attitude” that was so infectious and inspiring. I will never forget that sweet smile, those twinkling Irish eyes and her retort when she was asked to help out on a project , “You betcha..” Do you remember that? I have selected a short Irish poem by Susan Campbell, which I believe captures the spirit of Pat Tognozzi, who passed on in May of 1999
As the green hills of home are drenched with raindrops
Like a mother’s tears of joy when her child
comes home from the sea,
So does my heart weep
when we are sometimes parted, you from me.
Therefore let us make this pact, to let love bind us, one to another, To always return, ‘ere the green hills’ grasses turn brown.
May we live in peace without weeping.
May our joy outline the lives we touch without ceasing.
And may our love fill the world, angel wings tenderly beating.

Many wonderful conversations in many languages and in many voices will emanate from this bench-recalling Pat and Kathyrn’s indomitable spirits. We hope you will come here often, sit a while and remember these two great SRJC women.
Finally, I wanted to acknowledge the efforts of the committee made up of faculty and staff from the entire campus-the Tutorial Center, the Bookstore, Academic Computing, the MCL Lab, College Skills, the ESL Department, the Classified Senate and all the others -who donated the funds to purchase the bench we are dedicating today and helped organize the dedication. And now I will read the two bronze plaques “ Kathryn Mattis- who celebrated diversity June 2000 and Pat Tognozzi-who believed in bringing out the best in people April 1999."

What we

remember about her:

Pat would like her bench in the garden.

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