Down to a Science

Larry Cory entered the Christian Brothers novitiate at 13, graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1939 and leaped into teaching, spending 10 years at Sacred Heart High School before returning to SMC in 1952 to teach genetics and biology to generations of Gaels.

Professor Emeritus Lawrence (Larry) Cory may have retired last year after teaching at Saint Mary’s for more than 60 years, but he is far from forgotten. This spring, more than a dozen School of Science graduates gathered for a dinner to honor Cory for his service to Saint Mary’s as a biology professor and mentor to countless students.

At the dinner, it was announced that a group of Saint Mary’s alumni had raised $85,000 to establish an endowment for biol- ogy students in honor of Cory, who was named Professor of the Year in 2007. The endowment was the brainchild of Dr. Kieran Fitzpatrick and Dr. Richard Smith, classmates who graduated in 1962.

Fitzpatrick said he and Smith were inspired to launch the endowment because Cory was instrumental in the success of so many students who went on to medical and dental school, including themselves. “When we went to Saint Mary’s, he was practically the whole Biology Department. He was very precise and taught you to think scientifically, so when you got into medical school, there was no step-up in demand for academic excellence. You were already there,” Fitzpatrick recalled. “Plus, he taught into his 94th year, and that’s certainly something to be celebrated.”

If you would like to contribute to Professor Cory’s scholarship endowment, please contact Special Gifts Officer Ron Turner at (925) 631-4356.

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