The Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University is named for Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr., (December 20, 1914 – July 30, 2013) a native and lifelong resident of Winchester. Sen. Byrd was a publisher, businessman, former Virginia senator and former United States senator from Virginia. Following service in the Senate of Virginia from 1948 to 1965, Senator Byrd succeeded his father in the U.S. Senate in November 1965 and served until 1983. He was the only person in history elected to the U.S. Senate twice as an Independent.
Byrd’s service to the Commonwealth was outlined by the Virginia General Assembly in 2002 with Senate Joint Resolution No. 179, which noted that Byrd, who was “educated at the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia… followed his father, father Harry Byrd, Sr., into public service, thus forming a father-son combination that was the most influential in 20th century Virginia politics.” The resolution also states that “Harry F. Byrd, Jr., maintained the family tradition of fiscal conservatism, unquestioned integrity, and a distaste for political expediency.”
This fiscal conservatism along with Senator Byrd’s family tradition of community-mindedness has deeply influenced the philosophy of the business school. As a distinguished professor at Shenandoah, Senator Byrd presented a four-part lecture series in the mid-80s. He also served the university as a trustee, and was a member of many committees, including the Century II committee, formed on the occasion of the university’s 100th anniversary in 1975. Senator Byrd served as an honorary chairman of the committee. He was a trustee emeritus of Shenandoah University until his death in 2013.