With the Byrum Hall reveal on Tuesday, March 31, the new signs around campus and the surprising Rex Day announcement, many students may be wondering about the Byrum backstory.
Porter B. Byrum, the hall’s namesake, is a retired Charlotte attorney who attended Wake Forest University. Byrum earned his law degree in 1942.
He owned Park Road Shopping Center from 1967 until 2011, when he donated the property to three universities, including Wake Forest University, Wingate University and Queens University of Charlotte.
The shopping center sold for a total of $84 million. The greater portion of the sale was given to Wake Forest, his alma mater. The rest was split equally between Wingate and Queens.Byrum’s donation of $20.9 million helped Queens support endowed student scholarships and is currently aiding a total of 62 Byrum Scholars. Byrum also helped raise funds with the Byrum Endowed Scholarship Challenge, which promised $5 million to match donors who gave $50,000 or more to a scholarship fund. When the challenge was completed, a total of $10 million was given in new scholarship funds.
This past Tuesday, March 31, a dedication to Porter B. Byrum was held on the lawn in front of Byrum Hall. There were a large number of attendees, including Queens students, faculty, community members, alumni and, most importantly, Byrum himself. Queens recognized Byrum for his kindness, and then those gathered enjoyed a barbecue dinner on the lawn.
The reveal ended with President Pamela Davies announcing that Monday, April 6, will be a Rex Day for traditional undergraduate students in celebration of the Porter B. Byrum Scholarship and our national champion swim team. To read more about Byrum Hall head to http://www.queens.edu/News-and-Information/Byrum-Hall.html.