VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University Alumni Association (VUAA) has announced the selection of Robert Byrnes ’76 VSB, as the recipient of its 2018 St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal. The highest honor bestowed by the VUAA, the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal is presented annually to alumni for outstanding service and to those who best symbolize the spirit and legacy of St. Thomas of Villanova. Byrnes will receive the award Oct. 26 during the VUAA’s inaugural Volunteer Symposium, which also kicks off Homecoming Weekend.
“Bob is an exemplary alumnus and member of the Villanova community in every way, and it is only fitting that he is the recipient of the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal,” said Michael O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “He has dedicated his life’s work to his family and his profession, as well as his alma mater. We are grateful to Bob for all that he has done—and continues to do—for Villanova.”
“I am honored to receive the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal,” Byrnes said. “Many people ask me why I have dedicated so much of my time to Villanova. The simple answer is that Villanova changed my life for the better, and I wanted to give back. Villanova University is truly a special place.”
Byrnes is President of R.S. Byrnes Associates, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative sales agency based in Charlotte, N.C. The agency—which represents a core group of manufacturers of elastomer sealing products—has a customer base which spans much of North America from Monterrey, Mexico to Toronto, Canada, and all 50 states. Byrnes graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the Villanova School of Business (VSB).
In addition to his professional career, Byrnes has been a steadfast supporter and dedicated alumni volunteer for Villanova University. He created and served as president for both the New Jersey and North Carolina regional Villanova alumni clubs. In 1986, Byrnes was honored with the “Young Alumnus Award” and then, in 2014, received the Villanova University “Loyalty Award.” He was a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for 10 years, serving as president for four years. Byrnes has also served as chair of the Annual Giving Committee for Villanova’s comprehensive capital campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change,” the most successful campaign in the University’s history, which closed in May having raised more than $760 million.
In addition to his commitment to Villanova, Byrnes is involved in his local Charlotte area, serving as chairman of the Finance Council for his parish. During his time as chairman, his team raised funds to construct a new elementary school and daily chapel.
Since 1995, the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal has been given to those who have achieved a significant level of distinction within their career field and have made a major impact on their community, the University and Alumni Association.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.