Tuesday, May 10, 2011
FAMU Unveils the William Patrick Belin Endowed Plaque and Recognition Wall
One year after the death of William Patrick Belin, Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons was accompanied by Patrick’s parents, Steve and Lynn, wife, Lauren, brother, Stephen, family members and friends for the unveiling of the William Patrick Belin Endowed Plaque at the Eternal Flame and the William Patrick Belin Donor Recognition Wall in the New Pharmacy Building. The ceremony was part of the William Patrick Belin Memorial Endowed Scholarship, which was established by the Belin family to commemorate and preserve Patrick’s legacy.
During the unveiling, Steve Belin recalled the process of establishing the scholarship. Soon after receiving the life changing news, Patrick’s family set in motion the steps of establishing a scholarship in his honor. Through the continuous communication with the College of Pharmacy, the FAMU Foundation, as well as a visit from Carla Willis, FAMU’s former vice president of University Relations, the scholarship was created.
“I want to thank you,” said Steve Belin. “Each one of you connected to the FAMU community has contributed tremendously to the process. Not once did you say this can not be done. It was through your support and commitment that we have been successful in creating this scholarship in Patrick’s honor.”
With donations totaling more than $100,000, the Endowed Scholarship will provide resources for students who demonstrate a strong desire and passion for the field of pharmacy and will also share many of Patrick’s attributes. It was those attributes that Patrick’s brother, Stephen, spoke about as he shared stories of Patrick’s commitment and drive for perfection. “Patrick faced everything head on and would not let anything get in his way,” said Stephen. “Not once would he let go of a project that was less than perfect.”
William Patrick Belin was born in Jacksonville, Fla. on June 11, 1987, but grew up in Valrico, Fla. After graduating from Joe E. Newsome High School in Lithia, Fla. in 2005, he entered the University of South Florida and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s of science in biomedical sciences with a minor in public health. Also in 2009, he married his high school sweetheart, Lauren Rhyce, who is currently enrolled in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Patrick was scheduled to attend the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the fall 2010 semester before he became a victim of a fatal car accident.
Patrick’s many interests included basketball, karate, piano, drums, guitar and music recording. He served the local community through his volunteer work at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, tutored students in the Urban Scholars Outreach Program and assisted at the Emergency Care Health Organization in Brandon, Fla.
“I didn’t know William Patrick Belin personally, but I did know him on paper and I remember the most impressive thing on his application was the amount of community service he engaged,” said Henry Lewis III, former dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Everyone that knows me knows that I pride myself on community service.”
The William Patrick Belin Memorial Endowed Scholarship will allow others to walk in Patrick’s shoes while continuing his legacy.