Couple’s foundation supports education worldwide

In the early 2000s, when JoAnn Patrick-Ezzell ’75 repatriated to the U.S. after working abroad, she and her husband, Andrew, felt compelled to act.

She had been president and CEO of AT&T Asia/Pacific in Hong Kong, but during decades of international travel, the couple witnessed many impoverished children lacking access to education, and they were moved to take action.

Viewing education as a critical lever to success, they established in 2002 their aptly named charity, Give Something Back International Foundation.

JoAnn Patrick-Ezzell
Photo: Donna Campbell

JoAnn Patrick-Ezzell ’75 developed a global perspective at Bucknell, which she has employed in her career and philanthropy.

“Andrew and I have always been keenly aware that without the education we received and the special people who took an interest and encouraged us, our lives would have been very different,” says Patrick-Ezzell, who started her own management consulting firm after 35 years of international-management experience, including 25 years helping to build AT&T’s global business.

The foundation supports education in rural and urban communities around the world in three ways: building schools and libraries; direct scholarships for students; and a global virtual-classroom program. Since its inception, the foundation has sponsored education for more than 2,000 students, and its virtual classroom program, focused on cross-cultural communication and understanding, has connected students from more than 600 primary and secondary schools in 62 countries.

Patrick-Ezzell also works to shape the lives of Bucknell students. She returned to campus the last five summers as a guest lecturer sharing her international leadership expertise with students in the Freeman College of Management.

“Bucknell really helped me to develop a global perspective and was instrumental in the way that I led,” says Patrick-Ezzell, citing her first-year adviser, David Lu, now professor of history and Japanese and East Asian studies emeritus, and Dean of Students John Dunlop as particularly influential. “That four years truly had a major impact on my career, my philanthropic pursuits and my life.”