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Doctor killed in Iraq, Sanmina exec awarded University Medals

Binghamton University awarded two University Medals on Saturday, May 15 — one to Sushil Dhiman during the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science recognition ceremony, and the other posthumously to Dr. John P. Pryor ’88, at the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Division of Sciences and Mathematics  recognition ceremony.

Dhiman, senior vice president of West Coast operations for Sanmina-SCI Corporation, has assisted numerous graduate students as they conducted research for Sanmina-SCI, and has continued to mentor them after their graduation.

Dhiman has played a crucial role in expanding the Watson School’s research and the activities students and faculty engage in, said President Lois B. DeFleur: “He has provided essential internships for our graduate students.”

Pryor, a member of Harpur’s Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service while a student at Binghamton, went on to become a trauma surgeon, treating about 3,000 traumatically injured patients each year at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Passionate about service to others, he joined the U.S. Army Reserves at age 38 and served two tours as an Army combat surgeon in Iraq, where he was killed on Christmas Day 2008.

“Dr. Pryor was an accomplished trauma surgeon whose commitment to others was evident when he was here on campus,” DeFleur said. “He was a member of our Harpur’s Ferry and part of that award-winning tradition. He saved literally thousands of lives over the course of his career and there is no doubt he had the highest level of skills, but he is remembered for his selflessness, dedication and service to Binghamton, his community and his country.”

After Pryor’s brother, Dr. Richard Pryor, accepted the medal in his brother’s memory, Pryor’s former Binghamton roommate, Todd Kesselman ’88, spoke of how hard it is to give a full picture of John Pryor.

“He was a force of nature, larger than life and a once-in-a-lifetime friend,” Kesselman said. “John became the quintessential surgeon, teacher, mentor and rising star with an unlimited future. He went where he was needed and gave of himself selflessly and heroically.

“Live as John did. Have fun, laugh every chance you get, especially at yourself, love your family, and don’t just know the right thing to do. Do the right thing. All of you raise your glass to John Pryor and tell your friends to raise their glasses, too. That would be a tribute that John would love.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08