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Alumni Spotlight

Barbara and Peter Pryor ’54 Honored at UAlbany Foundation’s Citizen Laureate Awards

Peter M. Pryor ’54 and Barbara J. Pryor

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The University at Albany Foundation conferred one of its highest honors to Peter M. Pryor ’54 and Barbara J. Pryor at the 39th annual Citizen Laureate Awards on November 1, 2018 at SEFCU Arena.

The Pryors—longtime Capital Region leaders lauded for their public engagement and community activism—received the foundation's prestigious Community Laureate Award. Their son, Marcus Q. Pryor, accepted the award on their behalf, saying, "My dad loves his use of metaphors. He asked me to convey the following: In a manner of speaking, we are all runners in time; each generation relays its experience forward, and we are all better for it. Our shared community values are at the core of what we pass on."

A World War II veteran, Peter Pryor in 1954 became the first African-American to graduate from Albany Law School since the Reconstruction era. He went on to a celebrated career as a civil rights attorney and in public service, working in several capacities under New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Pryor, a prominent civic affairs leader, founded the Albany Urban League and served as president and general counsel of the Albany chapter of the NAACP. He is a trustee emeritus at Albany Law School and Siena College, where he earned his undergraduate degree, and regent emeritus for the State University of New York. He is a past recipient of Albany Law School's Distinguished Service Award. In 2015, the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association created the Peter M. Pryor Pioneer Award to honor his life and work.

Barbara Pryor has served as a board member of the Capital Region Center for Arts in Education and the Arts Center of the Capital Region, and was a member of the community advisory committee for UAlbany's School of Social Welfare.

Also honored at the 2018 Citizen Laureate Awards were former UAlbany President Karen Hitchcock (Academic Laureate) and former UHY Advisors NY CEO Richard Kotlow (Community Laureate). Last year, the UAlbany Foundation presented a Community Laureate Award to Reverend Kenneth J. Doyle, Albany Law School Class of 1978.