On Friday, March 4, 2016, we welcomed West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and her staff to the Byrd Center for lunch and a tour of the archives during her recent trip to the Eastern Panhandle. The Secretary and her staff were introduced to several new programs at the center including our upcoming traveling exhibit debuting at the Byrd Center in late April.
During our lunch meeting, the secretary shared her stories about the complex matter of filling West Virginia's U.S. Senate seat following the death of Senator Byrd in the summer of 2010 and how the state coped with the passing of its longtime champion in Congress.
The Byrd Center's Director of Programs and Research, Dr. Jay Wyatt presented renderings of the traveling exhibit "Robert C. Byrd: Senator, Statesman, West Virginian" to Secretary Tennant and her staff. Afterwards, they were guided through the archives for a tour of the Byrd Center's collections. While reviewing the extensive West Virginia Project Series of the Robert C. Byrd Congressional Papers Collection, the Secretary commented on the tremendous legacy of the senator's work on the Appropriations Committee to support the development of jobs, infrastructure, and educational institutions in the state. Secretary Tennant also had the opportunity to view a number of selected items from the collections, including artifacts from Senator Byrd's childhood and legislative records documenting the state, national, and international achievements of West Virginia's congressional delegations over the past sixty years.
Before leaving the campus, the Secretary visited with Dr. Mary Hendrix, Shepherd University's new president during an open house and briefly addressed the faculty gathered in the president's office.
The Byrd Center greatly appreciates the time Secretary Tennant and her staff set aside to visit the center, learn about our upcoming programs and initiatives, and join us in appreciating the significance of our state's role in the history of the U.S. Congress.