Baylor University Mourns Passing of Longtime Psychology Professor Jim Patton

November 1, 2018

Updated 11/7/2018 with memorial service information.

WACO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2018) - It is with deep sadness that we share with you the passing of Jim H. Patton, Ph.D., professor of psychology, neuroscience and biomedical studies and the department’s graduate program director. Dr. Patton died last night at home.

A memorial service for Dr. Patton will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at First United Methodist Church, 4901 Cobbs Drive in Waco, Texas. A reception with the family will follow the service from 2 to 4 p.m. Grace Gardens Funeral Home in Waco is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of one’s choice in Dr. Patton’s honor.

A 1978 Baylor Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Patton joined the Baylor faculty in 1980. Prior to Baylor, he was an NIMH-NINCDS postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science and the department of human biological chemistry and genetics at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. At Baylor, Dr. Patton was department chair from 1992 to 2004 and served several terms on the Faculty Senate, including as chair from 2004-2005 and 2013-2014. In 2005, he received the W.R. White Meritorious Service Award, which honors individuals who have rendered outstanding service to Baylor.

“Jim Patton was an iconic figure in the department of psychology and neuroscience and throughout Baylor University,” said Charles A. Weaver III, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department. “He was a first-rate scholar, a dedicated classroom instructor and a wonderful mentor. He spent a decade as chair of the department, was currently director of our Ph. D. program and twice served as chair of the Faculty Senate. His commitment to academic excellence was without peer. He inspired and motivated hundreds of students during the past 40 years, and his loss is immeasurable.”

“I owe much of who I am today to the teaching and guidance of Jim Patton, one of the most important figures of my academic life,” said Bradley Keele, Ph.D., B.S. ’90, associate professor of psychology, neuroscience and biomedical studies. “Jim challenged me as an undergraduate to seek excellence and his passion for knowledge infected me. Since I joined the Baylor faculty, Jim was my beacon of encouragement and inspiration. I will miss my friend greatly.”

Please keep Dr. Patton’s wife Kristi, son Dustin and his extended family in your prayers during this very difficult time.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.