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Mary Taylor “Tay” Pryor Thomas

Photo of Mary Taylor “Tay” Pryor Thomas
Categories: 2010 Alumnae, Journalism


Telling the story of life in Alaska, Tay Thomas is the author of eight books, including Free from Fear and An Angel on His Wing, and of many articles appearing in such magazines as National Geographic. In addition, she is a founder of F.I.S.H. (Fellowship in Serving Humanity), a food distribution agency.

A community and church activist, Tay is also a philanthropist, contributing monetarily and through personal service to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Anchorage Museum  at Rasmuson Center, YWCA Anchorage, Alaska Conservation Society, and Alaska Pacific University.  A role model for women and girls, she is known for her generosity of spirit and willingness to help others, as well as her dedication and loyalty to the people in her life and to enterprises that appeal to her values.  Tay’s calmness, perhaps shaped by events of the 1964 earthquake that she wrote about in Free from Fear and her ability to mediate differences within contentious situations, make her a rock in whatever situation confronts her.

Tay married Lowell Thomas, Jr. in 1950 and they and their two children moved to Alaska in 1960. She served two terms on the Anchorage School Board from 1968 to 1974.  Her husband became Lt. Governor of Alaska in 1975 serving one four-year term.

Induction ceremony acceptance speech