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Wingate honors benefactor Byrum

WINGATE -- Wingate University honored its biggest benefactor Tuesday -- and then hosted a luncheon where the man responsible for the gift met the students who benefited from it.

Wingate officials invited 92-year-old Charlotte attorney Porter Byrum to the Union County campus, where a bust of Byrum was commissioned in front of the Porter B. Byrum School of Business.

In June 2011, Byrum announced he had donated the Park Road Shopping Center, built in 1956, to Wingate, Queens University of Charlotte, and Wake Forest University. The three universities sold the property to a real estate leasing company, and Wingate says its share of the sale was $20.9 million -- a record gift for the school.

A chunk of that money was used to establish an endowment for the Byrum Scholars Program, which will bring up to 125 students into the business school each year. The rest of the money will be used to create an endowment for the Porter B. Byrum School of Business, to help with the construction of Wingate’s campus in Matthews, and to build a new residence hall.

Tuesday’s ceremonies at the Wingate campus included a luncheon, where Byrum met with the 60 freshmen who make up the inaugural class of Byrum Scholars.

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