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Alumnus establishes gift annuity

For 38 years, Dr. Harold S. Pryor served Tennessee higher education in some capacity from professor to administrator to volunteer.

Pryor has been retired for some time, but he continues his support of education, in general, and of Austin Peay, specifically. Pryor, of Columbia, recently established a gift annuity to APSU, demonstrating his love of education and student success.

“I have fond memories of APSU,” he said. “I wanted to do something for the University.”

For 38 years, Dr. Harold S. Pryor served Tennessee higher education in some capacity from professor to administrator to volunteer.

Pryor has been retired for some time, but he continues his support of education, in general, and of Austin Peay, specifically. Pryor, of Columbia, recently established a gift annuity to APSU, demonstrating his love of education and student success.

“I have fond memories of APSU,” he said. “I wanted to do something for the University.”

Pryor said giving back — whether through monetary donations or philanthropic services — to one's alma mater provides the building block for generations to come.

“We have an obligation, in one way or another, to help higher education and the students,” he said. “It's an important thing to do.”

A gift annuity allows an individual to make a gift to the Austin Peay State University Foundation and benefit in the following ways:
-- Safe, fixed income for that person's life.
-- Tax savings immediately and in the future.
-- Favorable treatment of capital gains, if funded with appreciated assets.
-- Changing lives of APSU students.

“We are grateful that Dr. Pryor chose to make a difference in the lives of students at Austin Peay State University,” said Roy Gregory, executive director of University Advancement at APSU. “We are excited about the Austin Peay State University Foundation gift annuity program and thankful that Dr. Pryor is our first gift of this type.”

Pryor, who will turn 90 years old in October, is a veteran of World War II. He earned a bachelor's degree from Austin Peay in 1946, a master's degree in 1947 from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1951. Throughout the years, he has published numerous articles in professional journals and written chapters in two scholarly books.

After 16 years of service to Austin Peay as director of student teaching, head of the department of education and director of teacher education, Pryor became the founding president of Columbia State Community College.

During his 17-year presidency at Columbia State, the first community college established in the state of Tennessee, Pryor's leadership became the proving ground for future development and expansion of the community college system.

His professional memberships include the National Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Delta Kappa, Comparative Education Society, American Council of Education and American Association of Higher Education. He also is listed under “Who's Who in America,” “Who's Who in the South and Southwest” and “Who's Who in American Education.”

Throughout the years, he assumed key leadership roles in the community and state. He is past president of the Clarksville Kiwanis Club and the Clarksville and Montgomery County Mental Health Association, as well as being past chair of the Montgomery County Cancer Society and the Montgomery County Heart Association.

At Columbia, he served on the board of the Columbia-Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce and the United Giving Fund. He also was on the boards of First Farmers and Merchants National Bank and Farmers and Merchants Corp.

He is past president of the Columbia State Community College Foundation and the Tennessee College Association and past chair of the board of Columbia's public utilities, as well as serving as a member of the board of the Frank G. Clement Foundation Inc.

Pryor was selected as a member of the board of trustees of the APSU Foundation. He served as co-chair of the class of 1946's 50-year reunion. Under his leadership, the class of '46 become the first 50-year class to establish a class gift for use by the University.

In honor of his wife and reflective of his ongoing commitment to education, Pryor established the LaRue V. Pryor Music Scholarship at APSU in 1993 designated for a qualified student from Clarksville High School who plans to major in choral music and/or music education. -- Melony Shemberger