UVA alumnus Robert Byron (A&S ’73, Law ’76), an integral contributor to the establishment of the University’s Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment, was recognized Nov. 11 at its inaugural Fall Conference as the first recipient of the Center’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Chairman, Co-CEO, and Co-Founder of Blue Vista Capital Management, who serves on the Center’s Executive Committee and as Advisory Board Vice Chair for Alumni and Industry Engagement, was honored with the award by McIntire School of Commerce John A. Griffin Dean Nicole Thorne Jenkins in the opening session of the conference.
Jenkins recounted his years-long volunteer efforts and inspirational commitment to rally fellow graduates, friends, and University leadership in support of the Center’s creation.
“He talked to hundreds of alumni and friends and met with President Ryan, Provost Magill, and every dean on Grounds to share his vision and thoughts about why UVA should have a real estate center. While countless others helped get this initiative officially off the ground, Robert was—by far—the person who spent the most time digging in and not giving up,” Jenkins says.
In addition to his work with the Center, Byron remains a profoundly engaged partner across Grounds. He serves on the Jefferson Scholarship Foundation Board, Architecture School Board, Jefferson Trust Board, UVA Foundation Board, and Affordable Housing Task Force. Byron is also a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of the Posse Foundation, and a member of the Thomas Jefferson (Monticello) Foundation Summit Board. He has given his time to provide real-world insights that enhance curricula throughout the University, sharing his development project experiences with students in courses at UVA’s Schools of Commerce, Law, and Architecture.
Jenkins explained that Byron, who was venerated with the newly established award celebrating UVA graduates working in the real estate field, “demonstrated outstanding ingenuity, insights, and leadership through his contributions to the profession, the Center, and the University of Virginia.”
As such, and as an added distinction for his extraordinary leadership and tireless drive leading to the Center’s formation, Jenkins revealed that going forward, the honor will be known as the Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment Robert G. Byron Distinguished Alumni Award.