James W. “Jim” Pry II ’67 is absolutely bursting with Bishop pride. As a former trustee, university counsel, and volunteer, Pry has dedicated much of his time and expertise to Ohio Wesleyan since graduating 50 years ago. The Alumni Board of Directors presented Pry with the Alumni Award in May for his many contributions to the University.
He is humble about his efforts and says it just makes sense to him to help where he can. “That’s just how it was in my family,” he says. “I learned that when people help you, you should help them in return.”
Pry discovered Ohio Wesleyan when his older brother, C. Nicholas Pry ’63, made the decision to attend. “I guess that rubbed off on me,” he says. Pry made the most of his time at OWU by playing varsity football, becoming a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and serving on the Interfraternity Council.
He particularly enjoyed meeting and learning from international students, because he’d rarely had the chance to talk to people from other countries. “I was opened up to the world,” he says. “Ohio Wesleyan is a wonderful place to meet people from outside the United States.”
Pry earned a bachelor of arts in economics with minors in geology and geography. “I had some wonderful professors at Ohio Wesleyan,” he recalls, mentioning the late economics professor Norman Leonard.
He went on to attend the University of Toledo and Ohio Northern University Claude Pettit College of Law before being admitted to the Ohio State Bar Association in 1971. Three years later, he also became a certified public accountant. He is now a partner at the Sears Pry Griebling & McBride PLL Law Firm in Bucyrus, Ohio.
Pry seemed destined to maintain a strong connection to OWU. He has had 11 family members attend the University, including his youngest son, Adam ’04. Even though he is a staunch advocate for the Bishops, Pry said he and his wife, Janet, left their two sons’ college choices up to them. “If you push them one way, they’ll go the other,” he says. “So it really was his own decision after considering all his options.”
Pry is a former member of the OWU Board of Trustees, on which he served from 2006 to 2012. He was also on the reunion committee for his 50th class reunion and is now a member of the Woltemade Center Alumni Advisory Board.
“I’ve always felt deeply indebted to Ohio Wesleyan.” he says. “They gave me an education. Not everyone feels so strongly about their alma mater.”
After 50 years, Pry still feels the impact of his liberal arts education. He went from never stepping foot on an airplane until law school to now having traveled to 72 countries. His favorite souvenirs from his trips are rocks, an echo of his days in geology class. On display in his library, they remind him of his experiences and how far he has come.
“I truly believe Ohio Wesleyan University is the best liberal arts college in t he United States,” he says.
By Erin England