Virginia A. Dwyer, a University of Rochester graduate who chaired its Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1991, died Monday (Sept. 29) in New York City after a long illness. She was 76.
She joined the board in 1979 and later became its president after she retired as senior vice president for finance at American Telephone & Telegraph Co. During her 43-year career at AT&T, she was cited regularly as one of the first women to reach the highest levels of management in a major American corporation. She was also the first woman to serve as chair of the University's Board of Trustees.
Born in Baldwin, L.I., Miss Dwyer graduated from the University in 1943 with a degree in economics. Her first job out of college was as a statistical clerk for Western Electric, the manufacturing unit of the former Bell system. At night, she studied economics at New York University and earned her master's degree in 1953. She started work on a doctorate and often spoke of becoming a university professor before she received a succession of promotions at AT&T.
Miss Dwyer, known to her colleagues at work and at the University as Ginny, held various positions on governing bodies of the University, including chair and a member of the Visiting Committee of the former Graduate School of Management (Simon School); member of the Visiting Committee of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and member of the Executive Committee, Investment Committee and Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees. She was elected a senior trustee of the board from 1991-1997, and a life trustee earlier this year.
She is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Nancy Dwyer of Erie, Pa., and Naples, Fla., and by a sister and brother-in-law, Marie and Dale Buley, of Seaford, N.Y., along with many nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 4) at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 415 W. 59th St., New York City.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Virginia Dwyer Scholarship Fund, University of Rochester, P.O. Box 270032, Rochester, N.Y. 14627-0032.