Shenandoah University's Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to remove the name of Harry F. Byrd Jr. from its School of Business over Byrd's support of school segregation in the 1950s in Virginia. The decision is effective immediately.
"This decision today about the business school is reflective of our commitment to continuing efforts toward racial justice and equality for all," Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Frogale said in a university news release.
Byrd, a Winchester native, served in the state Senate from 1948-65 and the U.S. Senate from 1965-83.
The university's business school was named for him in 1984. He went on to become a distinguished lecturer at SU, the release stated.
A virtual forum was held earlier today titled "Past, Present & Future: An Open Forum on the Naming of the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business." Numerous SU students, staff, alumni and others participated to express their opinions on the business school's name.
The forum followed more than 2,500 people signing a petition to remove Byrd's name from the business school. The petition was started by a master's of business administration student at the university.
See Thursday's Winchester Star for more.