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Meet 2021 Distinguished Alum: Lawrence B. Ryan ’56

Published: 09/21/2021

Lawrence B. Ryan

Lawrence B. Ryan

The Gannon University Alumni Association is proud to recognize the five Distinguished Alumni honorees for 2021. For thirty years, the Distinguished Alumni Award has been presented to Gannon and Villa Maria college alumni in recognition of meaningful contributions in their professions, community and the university. It is the highest honor an alumnus can receive.

Read on to get to know 2021 Distinguished Alum, Lawrence B. Ryan ’56.


Monsignor Wilfred J. Nash Principles of Christian Conduct
Lawrence B. Ryan ’56
President, Lawrence Ryan International (LRI)
Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Lawrence (Larry) B. Ryan ’56 graduated from Gannon College in 1956 with his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He afterward served in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer in the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery.

Following his time in the Army, Ryan began a career that would amass more than sixty years of experience in industry and with the United States Government. Ryan served in many senior-level positions focusing on aerospace and defense. He also worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce as deputy assistant secretary for Aerospace in the International Trade Administration, as well as deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Technology and Aerospace Industries. In these positions, Ryan coordinated with the business community to develop strategies to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. aerospace and high-technology industries by identifying and working to remove domestic and foreign impediments to trade.

In 1993, Ryan established the consulting firm of Lawrence Ryan International, or LRI, which provides representation and guidance on business development, strategic planning, and government relations to American and International companies in the advanced technology sector.

For the past twenty-five years, Ryan has served as a facilitator of the Faith and Light Community at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Md. Faith and Light Community assists local residents with learning disabilities and their friends and family by fostering friendship, prayer, sharing and celebration. Ryan and his late wife, Gen, are founding members of Potomac Community Resources, which serves more than 500 individuals with developmental differences. PCR encourages and supports the full inclusion of persons with intellectual and developmental differences in all aspects of community life. Ryan has mentored many young adults with

physical and developmental disabilities and has been a support to many families alike.

Ryan has also worked as a member of the marketing committee of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, a trustee of the Western New York Chapter of the Leukemia Society of North American, and also on the Board of Advisors of the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented on Sept. 25 during Gannon University's Homecoming and Family Weekend in the Yehl Alumni Ballroom of the Waldron Campus Center. To register for the event, visit