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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– A longtime Washington Post writer who is the University of Tennessee’s first journalism graduate and a UT alumnus who heads a multi-million dollar communications firm will be honored Friday night.

Sarah Booth Conroy and W. Lawrence (Larry) Patrick received the Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award, named for the late former dean of communications at UT-Knoxville.

The occasion is the UT College of Communications alumni reception.

Conroy, who wrote her first news story at age 9, became UT’s first journalism graduate in 1950. After six years at the Knoxville News-Sentinel, she worked for Diplomatic Magazine and the Washington Post as a foreign correspondent in Switzerland, Belize and Austria.

She returned in 1966 and wrote for the Post, the Washington Daily News, the New York Times and several magazines, including McCall’s, Ladies Home Journal and Smithsonian Magazine.

After 1970, Conroy was a White House reporter, features writer and editor for the Post and still writes occasional columns. She wrote columns on architecture and arts from 1971-82, and has written three novels.

Conroy lives in Washington, D.C., with husband Richard Timothy Conroy, a UT political science graduate and former deputy director of international activities at the Smithsonian.

Patrick in 1983 founded Patrick Communications Corporation, an investment and consulting firm for the cable and broadcast industries. His company has handled nearly $3 billion in sales and appraisals.

The firm’s clients include more than 200 broadcasting companies and more than 30 financial institutions.

Patrick has owned 12 radio stations valued at more than $75 million from 1986 to 1992. He is former chief operations officer of Gilmore Broadcasting Corporation, a $200 million broadcast-cable company.

Patrick earned his masters in communication at UT-Knoxville in 1973, and held broadcast management positions at WATE-TV in Knoxville and WKYT-TV in Lexington, Ky. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a Ph. D. from Ohio University and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Patrick chaired broadcasting departments at the University of Tulsa and the University of Maryland. He teaches for the Voice of America International Training Program, and lectures at Georgetown University Law Center. He lives in Ellicott City, Md.


Contact: Laura Simic (423-974-0037)