Wingate unveils bust of benefactor
Wingate University unveiled a sculptured bust of Porter B. Byrum at a ceremony held at the Porter B. Byrum School of Business on campus. The bust, created by award-winning sculptor Stephen Smith, honors the Charlotte attorney, businessman and philanthropist, who donated Park Road Shopping Center to Wingate and two other institutions last year.
After the property was sold Wingate received a record $20.9 million. In addition to establishing an endowed scholarship, the multi-million dollar gift is being used for educational programs, expansion of the cultural arts and enhancements to the campus.
The sculptured bust is added to the sculpture garden across Wingate’s campus, where special people have been recognized. Wingate University President Jerry E. McGee noted that Byrum is the first University trustee to be recognized in this way. “It has been an honor creating portraits of the many people who have had a dynamic and lasting impact on the history of Wingate University,” Smith said. “Working with President McGee to create this sculpture garden to commemorate the past contributions of educators and benefactors has been a privilege.”
A luncheon followed the ceremony to allow nearly 60 Byrum scholarship recipients to meet the man who provided scholarships for them. “What I’ve done is what I think my Daddy would have done,” Byrum said. “He always taught me to be a good steward of whatever I had.”