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Giving Opportunity in Memory of Dr. Robert Byrnes

In celebration of Dr. Robert Byrnes’ legacy of passion for the Humanities, and mentorship as a member of the Department of Rhetoric, Writing and Communications, The University of Winnipeg Foundation is proud to announce the creation of the Robert Thomas Byrnes Prize in Rhetoric and Composition. A popular professor among both his peers and students, Dr. Byrnes was a founding contributor to the Major in Rhetoric and Communications, as well as a distinguished James Joyce scholar. He refined the University’s rhetoric curriculum through the inclusion of various new courses such as New Journalism and Revolutions in Communication.

“New awards like the Robert Thomas Byrnes Prize in Rhetoric and Composition serve a purpose that is two-fold; in addition to helping broaden the scope of awards offered by our institution to our brightest and most deserving students, they also help cement figures like Dr. Byrnes in the future history of various departments by allowing their memory to continue in the form of scholarships, prizes, and bursaries.” said Javier Schwersensky, President and CEO of the Foundation.

After being conceived in the fall of 2021 by friends and family of Dr. Byrnes—and recently approved by the University Senate on February 28th—the Byrnes Prize is set to debut at this year’s spring convocation where it will be awarded to a talented graduating student upon completion of their Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications Major. As an endowed fund, the Byrnes Prize will bring support to budding scholars for years to come at UWinnipeg, further inspiring students enrolled in the department to expand their knowledge and succeed after completing their academic journey.

“Our sense of loss cannot be staunched,” said Professor Jaqueline McLeod Rogers, Chair of the Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications Department. “Alongside other awards, the Byrnes Prize will help a great deal in our effort to support students in the department and recognize the generosity and kindness Bob showed to so many students. We look forward to honouring Bob’s legacy and keeping his memory alive through this prize.”

As “an inspiring and caring professor and mentor, who believed deeply in the value of writing and literature”, Dr. Byrnes helped countless students recognize their potential during his time at UWinnipeg. If you’d like to help support Dr. Byrnes’ Legacy by donating, or if you have any questions about the prize, feel free to contact the Foundation at 204-786-9995 or by email at ma.samyn@uwinnipeg.ca.

Those looking to give online can follow this link to our donor page: https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/foundation/ways-to-give/index.html