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‘Friends of the Byrd Center’ campaign to boost centennial, Byrd legacy

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (Jan. 24, 2017) – The Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education is announcing its new “Friends of the Byrd Center” campaign seeking $100 from individuals to honor the 100th Anniversary of the late Senator’s birth.

The program kicked off with a soft launch among its board of directors and immediate mailing list, and within hours dozens of “friends” joined online to make tax-deductible contributions to sustain the mission of the Byrd Center on the campus of Shepherd University.

“The Byrd Center continues its mission to promote a greater public understanding of the U.S. Congress and our constitutional system of government, and to preserve Senator Byrd’s legacy as a scholar of the Constitution and one of its staunchest defenders,” said director and board member Dr. Raymond Smock. “Like many of the nation’s founders, Senator Byrd believed that informed citizens were the best guarantee that our form of representative government would flourish for the benefit of future generations.”

Smock said an important program element of the Center is the traveling exhibit on Senator Byrd’s career, which can be seen at six new sites just announced – Fairmont, Wheeling, Elkins, Williamson, Huntington and Bridgeport.

In an online communication to donors, Smock said those who contribute “can become an integral part of Senator Byrd’s vision and the mission of the Byrd Center as a charter member of the “Friends of the Byrd Center. More details at

Support as a Friend of the Byrd Center is needed to continue free public projects and programs, such as film screenings, lectures, book talks and unique symposia that provide opportunities for greater citizen engagement on important issues facing the nation. Plans are under way to expand the Center’s Teacher Institute program throughout West Virginia, provide university students with hands-on experience through the Center’s Student Internship Program, and help ensure that Senator Byrd’s extensive archive of West Virginia and Congressional history is preserved for future generations.

Benefits of joining “Friends of the Byrd Center” include monthly communications from the Byrd Center, invitations to special events, and a personal invitation to the opening reception and gala celebration of Senator Byrd’s 100th anniversary at the Culture Center in Charleston on Nov. 20,  2017.

— About the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education:  The mission of the Robert C. Byrd Center is to advance representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens in the history of Congress.  The Center is the home of the Robert C. Byrd Archive containing the papers and records of the Senator’s long career.  More can be found at

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