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Holy Cross gets $25M gift for performance center

Holy Cross gets $25M gift for performance center

February 25th, 2013 in News

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - An alumnus who donated $25 million to the College of the Holy Cross - the single largest gift in school history - for a performing arts center said he did it because he wants to bring more "fun" to campus.

"I started to think about what I could leave behind," Cornelius Prior Jr. said during an announcement at the Roman Catholic college. He decided to "put it in something that was fun for me and for you."

Prior, who is 79 and a 1956 graduate with a degree in English, said there wasn't much in the way of arts on campus back then, something that has since changed. In fact, he was regaled after the announcement by members of the college's choir wearing T-shirts reading "Thank you for making the arts a Prior-ity."

"The arts give you that joyous feeling ... It elevates you," Prior said, according to the Telegram & Gazette. "At the same time you're having fun, you're experiencing another dimension."

Prior, who started his career as a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, lives in the Virgin Islands and is chairman of the board of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc., a Beverly-based telecommunications services company. He is a former U.S. Navy officer and Fulbright scholar and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.