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Giving of Themselves for Their Neighbors

Former UAlbany President and Academic Laureate Karen R. Hitchcock, Community Laureates Peter M. and Barbara J. Pryor, and Community Laureate Richard Kotlow. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 18, 2018) — A noted cell biologist who became the first woman president of the University at Albany, a husband and wife praised for their public engagement in civic affairs, education and the arts, and a former CEO who has often donated his time and skills in support of the region’s economic growth will be the recipients of the 39th Citizen Laureate Awards from the University at Albany Foundation on Thursday, Nov 1, at the SEFCU Arena.

Karen R. Hitchcock will be presented the Academic Laureate, while Community Laureates will be bestowed upon Peter M. and Barbara J. Pryor and Richard Kotlow.

See a video here of the Nov. 1 Awards Ceremony. 

The black tie affair, which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and is followed at 7 p.m. by the dinner and awards program, has ticket registration open through Friday, Oct. 26. Faculty and staff can purchase tickets at $100 — $50 off the regular cost. Online purchases can be made at

Hitchcock, whose research efforts in cell and developmental biology were well-funded and well-published in leading scientific journals, was UAlbany’s vice president for academic affairs from 1991 to 1996 before becoming the 16th president of the University — and the institution’s first female president. After serving as president from 1996 to 2004, she went on to become principal and vice chancellor of Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, from 2004-08.

In the Capital Region, her contributions to civic and educational organizations include being founding co-chair of the Business-Higher Education Roundtable, chair of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and Center for Economic Growth, and trustee of both WMHT and The Doane Stuart School.

Community Laureates will be bestowed upon Peter M. and Barbara J. Pryor and Richard Kotlow.

Peter Pryor, who enjoyed a distinguished law career and served in several capacities under Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, became a prominent civic and community affairs leader within the City of Albany, founding the Albany Urban League and becoming a president and general counsel of Albany’s NAACP chapter. He is a trustee emeritus at Siena College and Albany Law School and a regent emeritus for SUNY, for which he served on the state Board of Regents from 1996 to 2000.

Barbara Pryor served New York under Gov. Rockefeller with the State University Construction Fund and in other leadership positions before becoming executive vice president in 1981 of her and her husband’s insurance risk management firm. Devoted to community, she served many institutions, including St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany International Airport, The Sage Colleges and Siena College. She was also a member of UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare Community Advisory Committee and has been a longtime supporter of the school and its initiatives.

Richard Kotlow, who served 40 years in leadership positions with the accounting and business firm UHY Advisors NY before retiring as CEO in 2012, has made expansive contributions to the economic and educational health of our region. Currently serving as president of the Schenectady County Community College Foundation board of directors, he is former chair of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau, and a past treasurer of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District.

He served as treasurer as well for the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center, from which both he and his wife Kathy have received several honors. Mr. Kotlow has also been a member of the directorship boards of Bethlehem 2020 and Capitalize Albany.

Proceeds from the dinner benefit The University at Albany Foundation and student scholarships. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, The University at Albany Foundation continues to advance the University's strategic goals and sponsors efforts to build ties to the community.

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