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Spring-Summer 2000
Vol. 62, No. 3

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Class Notes--In Appreciation

WATCHING THE UNIVERSITY GROW

Thomas Pryor
Pryor

Thomas Pryor '40 can remember the construction of the River Campus as a boy growing up in Rochester. And he still has a little awe in his voice when he talks about what's grown out of the land that used to be the Oak Hill Country Club.

"In my lifetime, the University has grown from what was really a four-year community college to an international establishment with very prestigious schools and with a diverse student body," he says. "It's really quite remarkable."

A retired investment analyst, Tom has maintained close connections to the University during his six decades as an alumnus. A former member of the Trustees' Council, he has served as an informal advisor to every University president since W. Allen Wallis, meeting frequently with them to discuss University and alumni issues.

He's also been a regular donor, most recently designating a sizable gift to the $15 million campaign to remodel the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center.

"I look at it as fulfilling my obligation toward repaying the University for the education I received," Tom says.

After graduation, he earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University and then spent four years in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge in 1946, he went to Wall Street, one of the few Rochester graduates at the time working in the center of the financial world.

He started his career with Merrill Lynch, and he later joined the firm of White Weld and Company, where he eventually became partner, chief investment spokesman, and director of the corporate finance division. In 1978, the company merged with Merrill Lynch, and a year later, Tom left to become a director of two different investment firms.

He retired in 1996.

His wife of 53 years, Patricia, died in 1998, and he "happily remarried" Betty Kent. The two spend most of the year in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Tom credits Roger Lathan '54, vice president emeritus of the University, with keeping him tied to the University. Lathan, he says, sought out graduates in a broad spectrum of fields to get their advice. He also cites the late Virginia Dwyer '43, a former chairman of the Board of Trustees and senior vice president for finance at AT&T, as an important influence in his relationship with the University.

Robin Lynn '70, director of the New York regional office of Alunni Relations and Development, says Tom is a generous man, not only to his alma mater, but to his family and friends as well.

"He's a real gentleman," she says.

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