Actor Patrick Dempsey received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Bates College- May 28, 2017.
Raised in Buckfield and Turner, Maine- Dempsey did not thrive in school because of dyslexia that went undiagnosed until seventh grade. But it was a school teacher who introduced this born performer to juggling. “Learning how to juggle,” Dempsey told The New York Times in 1987, “changed my life. It gave me a purpose. It led me toward performance.” Embracing a mental and physical discipline in juggling that would serve him well in other pursuits, Dempsey went on to win the national Talent America competition in 1983.
Amanda Dempsey, Patrick’s mother, was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 and succumbed to the disease in 2014. Her children Patrick, Mary, and Alicia founded The Dempsey Centers of Lewiston & Portland to provide education, wellness services, and other forms of support free of charge to anyone affected by cancer.