Novelist James Patterson to give UW-Madison spring commencement speech

James Patterson

MADISON, Wis. — James Patterson, the world’s top-selling author of the past 20 years, has been announced as the commencement speaker for UW-Madison’s spring ceremony.

Patterson is best known as the creator of the Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series of novels. He is considered today’s most successful author of adult fiction. Throughout his career, he has had 96 titles reach No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

He and his wife Susan, a UW-Madison alumna, have donated millions of dollars and books to support college affordability and youth literacy. The Pattersons provide financial support to more than 150 students at UW-Madison through various scholarship funds, according to a news release.

“We are thrilled that someone of James Patterson’s stature, international acclaim, and generosity has agreed to share his insights with our graduates,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank says. “Very few people have reached Mr. Patterson’s level of success or had such a profound impact on education and the lives of students.”

Patterson will reportedly be joined on stage by this year’s alumni speaker, John Felder, a retired labor union administrator and one of the organizers of the Black Student Strike of 1969 at UW-Madison.