Patricia Hallen Clough, ’69, College of Saint Elizabeth 2012 Mother Xavier Award Recipient, is a woman who has the unique ability to touch hearts, bring palpable hope and transform the lives of others. Pat uses her creativity and insight to lead others to the most powerful gifts any human being can experience – the gifts of self respect and individual promise.
Pat’s life changed dramatically when she noticed a group of women from a local prison working on a landscaping project near her home. They worked with a shared intensity and camaraderie but were dressed in the same drab prison garb. It seemed to Pat that each of these women working as a unit to bring beauty to the world would be-should be their own source of beauty.
She wondered who they were as women and individuals? What story did they have to tell? Motivated, she contacted the prison’s administration to see how she might help. Together, she and the warden developed a new educational program for incarcerated women based in creative writing.
Almost a decade later, both men and women in several Hawaiian prisons have produced eight books called, Hulihia, Writings from Prison, and given theater performances, Prison Monologues, based on their books. “Hulihia” in Hawaiian means “transformation” - and there is little doubt that it’s exactly what is happening to inmates.
Writing is the tool that awakens them to who they really are and how they can make a difference in their own lives. Pat’s classes have led them on a journey back to themselves with only one difference. Now they realize they are somebody and that they are worth something!
Pat has also written her own book, Unlikely Heroines, which is about the courageous, talented and heartbreaking stories of those imprisoned for years who are now finding freedom behind bars through writing.
She credits much of her success to her CSE education. Sister Anne Gertrude and Sister Mary Catharine instilled in her a love for literature and words. She is grateful to her husband Russell and their children for their support and encouragement.
Pat graduated from the College of Saint Elizabeth with a Bachelor of Arts in English and is certified in secondary education.