This article appeared regarding Jean Byrd
College remembers Jean Byrd
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 – Ann Claycombe
Jean Byrd, the Department of Political Science's longtime business manager, died at Crawford Long Hospital on Thursday, February 8 after an extended illness.
“She was an institution,” said William Downs, chair of Political Science. “She was the first person most of us met when we came to Georgia State.”
Byrd first arrived on campus in the mid-1980s. She had gone back to school and finished a B.A. at Agnes Scott while she was in her 40’s, then enrolled in graduate school at Georgia State. She achieved All But Dissertation status in the Political Science Ph.D. program, and continued to work on her dissertation for the rest of her life.
She taught as a graduate instructor in Political Science, and became the department’s business manager in 1995. Byrd was fiercely dedicated to her job and to Georgia State.
“She was the first one to arrive in the morning, and the last to go home at night,” Downs said.
She was known as a woman who spoke her mind, “a straight shooter,” Downs said, who helped literally thousands of students to navigate their degrees. She had a particular dedication to the department’s legislative internship program, and to the students who were a part of it, but was involved in every aspect of the department’s work.
“Whatever successes we have as a department for some time to come,” Downs said, “will have her fingerprints on them.”
Jean Byrd is survived by three sons, two grandchildren, and a sister. Her funeral was held on Saturday, February 10, in Morrow, GA.
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