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William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture
The Annual Patterson Transportation Lecture is named for William A. "Pat" Patterson. A central figure in the United States air transport industry for more than four decades, Patterson served as president and chairman of United Airlines from 1934 until his retirement in 1966. He was a life trustee of Northwestern University and was instrumental in the establishment and strategic leadership of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. In his honor, Northwestern established the William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation in 1978. The Patterson Chair serves as an intellectual focal point for transportation research and education at Northwestern, most of which is coordinated through the NUTC.
In 1980, the NUTC established the Patterson Transportation Lecture as an integral part of the Patterson Endowment. It has since become an annual highlight at Northwestern University, drawing influential speakers from all facets of the transportation industry.