Robert Byrnes ‘76 Wins St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal


Photo Courtesy of University Media Relations

Wyatt Noble

On Oct. 26, a University alumnus, Robert Byrnes ‘76 VSB, received the St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal during the Villanova University Alumni Association’s (VUAA) inaugural volunteer symposium.

“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,” Michael O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, said. “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.”

The medal Byrnes received is the highest honor bestowed by the VUAA, and according to a statement from the University is 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.”

“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, who graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, is the President of R.S. Byrnes Associates, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative sales agency headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. The agency, which represents manufacturers of elastomer sealing products, does business everywhere from Monterrey, Mexico to Toronto, Canada, and throughout North America.

While Byrnes continues to achieve great success in his business endeavors, he also continues to serve as an exemplary alumni volunteer and University supporter. Since graduating in ‘76, Byrnes started and served as the President of both New Jersey and North Carolina regional University alumni clubs. Byrnes also received the “Young Alumnus Award” in 1986, and more recently received the University’s “Loyalty Award” in 2014. He also served as a member of the VUAA’s Board of Directors for 10 years, including a four-year stint as President.

Byrnes was also a chair on the Annual Giving Committee for the University’s extensive capital campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change,” that raised more than $760 million, funded the recently completed renovations to the Pavillion and closed in May as the most successful capital campaign in the University’s history.

Along with his commitment to the University, Byrnes remains deeply involved in Charlotte, where he serves as the chairman of the Finance Council for his Parish. As chairman, Byrnes has overseen the funding and construction of a new elementary school and daily chapel.