Scholar Class – 2012
Patrick Oathout was born and raised in Houston, Texas. In middle school, he began participating in speech and debate, where he developed an interest in foreign policy. By the end of middle school, Patrick ranked third in the nation in Impromptu Speaking. Patrick came out as a sophomore in high school to a welcoming family and community. An unfortunate experience at a summer job with a “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy for teenagers rattled Patrick’s coming out experience. Determined to move forward, Patrick began mentoring his peers through their own coming out experiences. Patrick now attends Duke University and is double majoring in Philosophy and Public Policy. He is a student representative on Duke’s Board of Trustees, the President and Founder of the Duke Colloquium Fellows, and is a Founding Father of Duke’s Sigma Pi Fraternity. Additionally, Patrick is the first openly LGBTQ Duke student to be elected Student Body Vice President. Outside of Duke, Patrick has fought to reform the refugee resettlement process, and he has worked at refugee resettlement organizations in Durham, Washington, D.C., and Amman. Patrick has also received awards from the Clinton Global Initiative University and Duke University for his development of a mobile application for entrepreneurial refugees. After graduation, Patrick hopes to serve as a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.