Pratt has lived by the motto “keep dreaming and always do the right thing.”
Larry Pratt (HCB, '73) serves as the chairman and CEO of First Savings Mortgage Corporation, a company he founded in 1989 that is now Washington, D.C.’s largest private mortgage lender. Under his leadership, the company has grown to employ more than 150 people with some $50 billion in closed loans.
First Savings has been recognized for five consecutive years as the number one lender in the nation's capital, and was named one of the “Best Places to Work” in 2019 by the Washington Business Journal.
By the time he graduated from UT, he had served in the military, started a family, and was working three part-time jobs. Pratt’s father had taught him to “keep dreaming and always do the right thing.” His hard work and dedication paid off as his career blossomed.
Charitable works have always been important to Pratt. His mother, Jessie, steeped him in the act of giving back. Since founding First Savings, he’s organized his company’s participation in affordable housing programs, minority education efforts, Habitat for Humanity, and other efforts designed to help people reach homeownership.
His generosity extends to UT, where he has focused his efforts on improving student athletics. He has created an endowed scholarship in his father’s name, donated $1 million to the STEP-UP Campaign, given $5 million to create the Pratt Pavilion basketball facility, was lead donor on the Larry Pratt locker room renovation, donated $5 million to the Neyland Stadium project, and created the Harold “Prof” Powers Endowed Scholarship for underserved UT students from McMinn County, Tennessee, where his hometown of Athens is located.
Pratt holds the Certified Mortgage Banker “CMB” designation, the real estate finance industry’s highest award, and serves on numerous boards, including as vice chair of the UT Foundation Board of Directors and as a member of the UT Development Council and the UT Athletics Board.
“When Coonhound won first prize, it really showed us that people believe in us and our idea.”