UT Knoxville, ’73
W. Lawrence “Larry” Patrick had two dreams when he was growing up: to play baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals and to own radio stations. The baseball thing didn’t work out, but the radio station idea definitely did.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Patrick had a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky when he completed a master’s degree in communication at UT Knoxville in 1973. He also earned a PhD. at Ohio University and a law degree at Georgetown University.
“I hold degrees from four different universities, but I really only bleed orange,” Patrick said in 2013 when the Patrick Auditorium in the College of Communication and Information was named to honor his generous support. “UT is my primary focus. I give most of my time, whatever little talent I have and some treasure to UT because UT is where I laid the foundation for a very fortunate career that I’ve had.”
He founded Patrick Communications, a Maryland-based media brokerage firm. His wife, Susan, is co-owner and managing partner.
His $1 million gift is the UT College of Communication and Information’s largest to date and established the Herb Howard Distinguished Professorship. A $5 million estate gift will eventually convert the professorship to a faculty chair. He has served on the UT Board of Visitors and Development Council. He won the College of Communication’s Donald G. Hileman Award in 1995 and UT’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012.
Patrick once told Radio + Television Business Report he gets the most enjoyment from watching young broadcasters learn and seeing fledgling companies grow and flourish.
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.