Patton Breon Reighard, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Patton Breon Reighard, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 22, 2024,

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Patton Breon Reighard, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Communication Patton Breon Reighard (March 10, 1949-) was born and reared in Lenoir, North Carolina, the middle son of Rose Withers and George Breon Reighard. While in the Lenoir school system, Reighard played the French horn in the Davenport Junior High School Band and in the highly rated Lenoir High School Band. He was a member of the wrestling team in high school and received the Most Valuable Player Award his senior year, based on his undefeated regular season record. Reighard graduated from high school in 1966 and enrolled in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). While there, Reighard was on the varsity wrestling team, played French horn in the UNC-CH Concert Band and in the UNC-CH Symphony Orchestra, and was a research assistant at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. He graduated with a B.A. degree in psychology in 1970 and enrolled at Appalachian State University, where he was one of the first graduate students in the new clinical psychology program. During his second year of graduate school at Appalachian State, Reighard married his grade-school sweetheart, Fredel Thompson. After serving a six-month internship at Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, in June of 1972, Reighard and his wife became the first two recipients of the M.A. degree in clinical psychology from Appalachian State. Reighard then worked part-time for a year as a psychological consultant at the Foothills Mental Health Center in Lenoir and as an agent in the Lenoir License Plate Agency branch of the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. In 1973, Reighard enrolled in the radio-TV-film doctoral program in the College of Communication at the University of Texas, Austin, (UT). While there, he was a teaching assistant in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, was given a graduate research award by the UT Graduate School, was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and produced and directed award-winning six-teen-millimeter films, including Cool Lemonade and Sunday Funnies. Reighard graduated from UT in 1977 with a Ph.D. degree in communication (radio-TV-film). During the last week of January 1978, after working a few months establishing PATCOM, a communication consulting business, Reighard received a request from an Appalachian State faculty member who had been in graduate school with Reighard at UT: would he interview for a faculty position in the Department of Communication at Appalachian State that had just become available due to a resignation? On February 1, 1978, thinking the job would only last through the end of the semester, Reighard began working as an assistant professor at Appalachian State. He was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and to professor in 1989. Reighard also served Appalachian State in an administrative capacity. When initially hired, he held the position of Director of Broadcasting (DOB), which involved managing Appalachian's noncommercial education radio station, WASU-FM. Under his guidance, the station became more professional and grew to a student staff of over one hundred. Reighard withdrew from the DOB position in 1986 and began teaching full-time. In 1990, he was appointed as the assistant dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and became the college's associate dean in 1993. While he was at Appalachian State, Reighard served on a number of departmental, college, and university committees and councils, including his three years as an elected at-large member of the Faculty Senate. He initiated and led a series of visioning retreats and workshops, which resulted in the creation of the first vision statement for the university, An Appalachian Summer, Alumni Affairs, and the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC). His development activities included leadership positions in several campus campaigns, including two years as chair of Appalachian's State Employees Combined Campaign, which won several awards in 2000. Reighard has numerous publications, scholarly presentations, and workshop presentations to his credit. In addition, he has written, produced, directed, and edited dozens of audio, video, and multimedia programs. Reighard has participated in a wide variety of professional experiences. He served as a grant reader in a discretionary grant application process for the Office of Indian Education in the United States Department of Education. For three years, he was one of only seventy-five scholars selected from broadcasting faculty nationwide to participate in the International Radio & Television Society Faculty/Industry Seminar, winning the Stephen H. Coltrin Award for Excellence in Communications Education in 2000. Reighard served as the institutional representative to the 1995 Fort Bragg Reserve Officers' Training Corps' Advanced Camp- Camp All American. Reighard's international experience includes teaching a course at the University of Gdansk in Poland and serving as a Rotary International Group Study Exchange participant in Japan. A long-time member of the Broadcast Education Association, he served as the chair of its Writing Division for a year. Reighard continues to be an active member of SEANC, having served at the local level as chair of District Three and at the state level as co-chair of the Planning Committee, Western Region Representative to the Executive Committee and First Vice President of SEANC. A long association with the National Broadcasting Society-AERho was culminated in his election as national president for 2003-2005. He is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a restricted radiotelephone operator and is licensed and certified as a psychological associate by the North Carolina Psychology Board and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Practicing Psychologists. Reighard has long been engaged in performances of various types, beginning with his ventriloquist act, "Pat and Kilroy," when he was eight years old. Once billed as the "World's Youngest Ventriloquist," he has given hundreds of ventriloquial performances in such venues as schools, civic clubs, and television. He also enjoys acting in community theatre, and has won, from Foothills Performing Arts, Inc., the Willy Award for Best Character Actor and the "Golden Thespis" Willy Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre. Reighard's greatest reward has been his marriage to Fredel. With a B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a B.S.N, degree from Lenoir-Rhyne College, an M.A. degree from Appalachian State, and an M.S.N, degree from University of North Carolina- Greensboro, she recently retired from her position as Dean of Health Sciences at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Reighard was awarded emeritus status by the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees in December 2004. He and his wife reside on a ridge just outside of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Sources: Personal correspondence and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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