1981 Bell Ringer Award
Citation for Pirnie Pritchard ’21

You came to the Hill from Remsen in 1916, Pirnie Pritchard, following your father, George, who had been graduated 37 years before. Despite the lack of a high school diploma, you performed so well on the entrance examinations that then President Ferry offered you a place in the Class of 1921. By your own modest admission, you could have applied yourself more diligently, but, by the record, you fared well, majoring in geology and philosophy. A member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, you also joined the Students Army Training Corps. Remembered best by classmates for your prowess on the baseball diamond, you held the team together in the field and powered it from the plate, where, as one remarked some 60 years later, you could hit the ball out of the park. After graduation in 1921, you played for a professional team in northern New York for the considerable sum of $50 per week. Soon discovering that your interests lay elsewhere, you again followed the example set by your father, a prominent judge in Utica. After reading law in his office, you presented yourself for the State Bar Examination, only to be denied. Undaunted, you enrolled in a course at Rochester, passed the Bar, and soon found yourself with a thriving practice in Utica. For 20 years, you held simultaneous public office as County Attorney, where you did much to improve the image of appointed officials. Cautioned by your predecessor that everything at that level had political tie-ins, you dismissed the warning contemptuously and interpreted the law as you saw it, not as dictated by anther. On more than one occasion, your independence drew you into open controversy. Never, however, did you give in. A third generation Pritchard, your son Edward ’52, has carried don a tradition begun by your father more than a century ago. For your work in the community and your dedication to this institution, Hamilton is proud to salute you and the many and varied accomplishments of your life.

Presented by
Chair, Alumni Council
May 30, 1981


Office / Department Name

Alumni & Parent Relations

Contact Name

Jacke Jones

Director, Alumni & Parent Relations

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