“We had a lot of reinforcement from all of the teachers that we could accomplish anything as a girl. So, I declared a double major, accounting and business.”
Patti Locke didn’t always have it easy. Growing up in a small agricultural community on Redlands Mesa in Western Colorado, everyone was expected to do hard things. So, when her advisor suggested she couldn’t make it through the accounting program at Western in the fall of 1969, during a different era, she was incredulous.
“I was in total shock because where I grew up in rural Colorado, the girls in my high school classes were usually better students than the boys, and we had a lot of reinforcement from all of the teachers that we could accomplish anything as a girl. So, I declared a double major, accounting and business.”
Western’s Role and Women in Accounting
Western was good to her, she said, with professors who were supportive, providing scholarships, grant money, and jobs as a dorm advisor and in the student work-study program. When she graduated, she only owed $500. “This is the main reason for my scholarship fund, which is to benefit women accounting students who need help completing college.”
Locke’s drive and determination would serve her well as she went through her career, moving up through the ranks as an accountant at firms from Grand Junction to Denver. Eventually, she became a partner in the Denver firm Brown & Locke, P.C.
“I always felt indebted to Western for putting me through college, so early in my career, I started funding a small ‘Women’s Accounting Scholarship’ annually. At some point, I decided to make Western the beneficiary of half of my IRA,” she said, and the Patti Burritt Locke Accounting Scholarship was born. “The impact on me has just been to feel good about helping other women accounting students, and hoping my scholarship fund is making a good impact on them.”