Businessman And WFU Benefactor Porter Byrum Dies At 96

Businessman And WFU Benefactor Porter Byrum Dies At 96

11:26am Mar 29, 2017
Porter Byrum's lifetime giving to Wake Forest University totaled more than $50 million. Photo courtesy of Wake Forest University

Charlotte lawyer and Wake Forest University benefactor Porter B. Byrum has died.

Byrum grew up in Wilmington and Edenton, and graduated from Wake Forest in 1942.

The World War II veteran went on to a successful career as a lawyer and businessman, establishing what would become a 50-year relationship with Charlotte Aircraft Corporation.

Byrum also owned and managed a major Charlotte shopping center, and in 2011, he donated the property to Wake Forest University, along with Wingate University and Queens University of Charlotte.

A subsequent sale netted $82 million for the schools, with more than $40 million going to Wake Forest. According to a university press release, Byrum continued to establish scholarships for Wake Forest athletes and undergraduates.

He was a member of the university’s Law Board of Visitors, and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni award. The school’s admissions and welcome center was named for him in 2011.

Byrum died Monday at the age of 96.

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