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UW President McGinity Statement on the Death of Harriet ‘Liz’ Byrd

January 28, 2015

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity issued the following statement upon learning of the death of former legislator Harriet Elizabeth “Liz” Byrd of Cheyenne, who was honored as a UW distinguished alumnus in 2012:

“Liz Byrd was a true pioneer in Wyoming’s educational and political history. As an educator, she displayed tremendous fortitude in overcoming racial discrimination to forge an exemplary teaching career that included a master’s degree from UW in 1976. As the first African-American woman in the state Legislature, and the first African-American in the state Senate, she left a wonderful legacy that includes the creation of a state holiday on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. -- which UW observes each year with Days of Dialogue, a weeklong event of special activities to recognize the continuing impact of King's life. As this year’s events take place on campus in the next week, I’m sure Liz’s outstanding life will be on the minds of all of us.”

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