Patrick Alexander Spann was 33 years old when he died suddenly on January 9, 2014 of unknown natural causes. He had complained of headaches a few months before and underwent testing to seek out the cause. But he left us before we even knew what was wrong. Patrick loved his life and was determined to live it to its fullness. He was convinced that his friends and family had the talents that could change the world. Some of us believe that he already has.
No truer Chicago Cubs baseball fan graduated from the graduated from University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. A progressive educational institution that encouraged excellence from its students, the Lab School was the perfect environment for him and his brother, Bill to take the world by storm. Here Patrick was able to hone his love for competition. From excelling in the Model UN and starting a student financial investment club, to promoting the idea that a mastodon would be the perfect mascot, Patrick’s love for his school was evident to all who knew him. His connections to his Lab School friends never ended.
Patrick went on to earn his undergraduate degree in Operations Research Engineering from Cornell University in 2002. Even though he was a member of the NASA Mars Rover Team, the first years were rough. Patrick would be the first to admit that the coursework at Cornell was a constant challenge, but he would also tell you that he was having fun. He left Cornell with many life-long friends.
After graduation, Patrick was hired as an industrial engineer for Miller Brewing Company. He later moved into operations management at their Irving, California brewery. Is wasn't long, however, before Patrick found his true passion to be in sales and marketing. With his technical skills, easy manner, and willingness to put in long hours -- Patrick was a natural. He was revolutionizing the Manhattan market for for The Linde Group as their Metro NYC-New Jersey Area Account Manager. Patrick had also fallen in love with Manhattan.
Another of Patrick’s passions was mentoring. While completing a MBA at Fordham University, Patrick developed a the Fordham Graduate Marketing Society marketing plan competition to give students real-world experience in working with clients. He later became a dedicated mentor for the Fordham Black and Hispanic Marketing Society and the National Black MBA Association.
Ultimately, what was important to Patrick were his family and friends. Always working hard toward his career goals, Patrick nevertheless had time for you. His family remembers the anytime "I love you" messages he left on the phone. Many of his friends tell us of how he reached out to them when their careers, marriages, and life-in-general would fall apart. And if you had something to celebrate -- he was the one organizing the party! In fact, we believe that Patrick might hold the record for being the Best Man at his friend's weddings.
The Patrick Spann Foundation exists because of the hard work of Patrick's friends. We believe that Patrick is loving what we are doing to help young people. We believe this because Patrick changed our world -- just by being in it for a short while.
Today is tomorrow's history. Make history.