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Millard Pryor: University Loses a Good Friend
Pryor was a vice chair of the Board of Regents and a longtime supporter of the university, and he was known throughout the region as an influential philanthropist and lover of the arts.
"He was a close friend, a trusted confidante, a generous donor, and—most of all—an enthusiastic supporter of the university and its mission," President Walter Harrison wrote in a letter to the Board of Regents. "There is no other way to put it—he was a great human being.
"He left the university and the world a far, far better place than he found it, and he has left his quiet but distinctive mark in so many ways," Harrison wrote. The university flag is being flown at half-staff in Pryor's memory.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 10, at 2 p.m., in the Aetna Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. A reception will follow.
Pryor had been a member of the Board of Regents since 1980, and he also was a member of the Campaign of Commitment Steering Committee.
Pryor's wife of 42 years, Claire, was his enthusiastic partner in philanthropic activities. Claire Pryor is a University of Hartford alumna, having received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the university in 1984. Together, the Pryors established the Pryor Family Educational Opportunity Scholarship at the university.
In addition to Claire, Pryor is survived by his twin daughters, Esther Pryor and Elizabeth Bradley, Elizabeth's husband Gerrit Bradley, and their two daughters.
In addition to leaving a lasting mark on the University of Hartford, Pryor supported numerous civic and charitable causes, with a special focus on the arts. After moving to the Hartford area in 1972, he served as president of the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Connecticut Opera, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council. He had been a member or director of the boards of the Bushnell Memorial, the Hartford Courant Foundation, Camp Courant, Connecticut Public Television, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Ethel Walker School, and many other organizations, and he helped found the Amistad Foundation.
Pryor was an entrepreneur who, together with his business partner, David Clark, ran Lydall Corp., a diversified conglomerate in Manchester, Conn. In 1988, Lydall was divided into two companies, Lydall and Corcap Inc. Pryor and Clark later branched out into other businesses and ran their own investment firm, Pryor & Clark Co. in Windsor.