E. Virgil Conway, American civil servant, Died at 85

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E. Virgil Conway was born in 1929 or 1930, and passed away on October 21, 2015.

Virgil was an American attorney, banker, philanthropist and civic leader who served as chairman and CEO of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 1995 to 2001.

The MTA is the umbrella organization for the various agencies that operate the public transportation systems in the 14-county metropolitan New York City area.

The operating agencies are: New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Railroad, and Bridges and Tunnels.

Mr. Conway, at his request, served without compensation.

He was later chairman of Rittenhouse Advisors and a member of the board of Urstadt Biddle Properties.

Before his appointment as MTA Chairman by Governor George E. Pataki, Conway was a member of the MTA Board.

He currently serves as a member of the New York State Thruway Authority.

Virgil has served on the boards of the Union Pacific Corporation, Consolidated Edison, Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, the mutual funds managed by the Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company, and Trism, Inc., as well as several other companies.

He served as chairman of the New York City Housing Partnership, chairman of the Audit Committee of the City of New York, a member of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, and a member of the board of trustees of Colgate University and Pace University.

He also served as chair of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC).

Virgil has served as chairman and president for Seaman’s Bank for Savings, as vice chairman of the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce and Industry, First Deputy Superintendent of Banks of the State of New York, and chairman of the Temporary State Commission on the Water Supply Needs of Southeastern New York.

Virgil grew up in Montauk, New York, where his father, E. V. Conway was controller for Carl Fisher’s Montauk Beach Company.

Virgil graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University in 1951, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was initiated into Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

He graduated cum laude from Yale Law School in 1956 and was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Pace University in 1990 and from Colgate University in 2002 and an honorary doctor of humane letters from the State University of New York at Stonybrook in 1998.

He served as an officer in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and is a retired Captain of the United States Air Force Reserve.

As a philanthropist, Conway and his wife, Elaine have funded the visitors center at the Montauk Point Lighthouse and scholarship funds at Colgate University, the Yale Law School and Pace University. On October 21, 2015, Conway died at the age of 85.

He received the Gold Medal from The Hundred Year Association of New York in 1986 and the association’s annual E. Virgil Conway College Scholarships are awarded to the sons and daughters of New York City employees every year in honour of Conway, who conceived of the scholarship program in 1971.

He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1998 as well as honors and awards from many other charitable and educational institutions.

Virgil died at age 85 in October 2015.