Auburn University announces prominent alumnus and attorney Beau Byrd as its summer commencement speaker


Story by Julie Huff

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn has announced that alumnus and Birmingham attorney Beau Byrd will deliver the commencement address during the university’s summer commencement exercises on Aug. 3 in Neville Arena.

A 1989 accounting graduate, Byrd is currently a partner at the Bradley Law Firm where he specializes in commercial real estate and lending transactions. A member of Birmingham’s legal community for more than 30 years, Byrd represents a broad spectrum of clients throughout Alabama and Georgia, including lenders, financial institutions, borrowers, developers, owners and investors across a variety of commercial real estate and commercial lending transactions, including multi-family, industrial, retail, senior housing, office, new market tax credits and historic tax credits.

Beau Byrd Beau Byrd, ’89

An active alumnus, Byrd’s dedication to Auburn is evident in his roles as a member of the Auburn University Foundation’s Board of Directors and a decade-long member of the Auburn Alumni Association, including a tenure as president. In addition to his involvement in numerous Auburn societies, including the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society, the 1856 Society, and the George Petrie Society, Byrd is an active member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Master of Real Estate Development program in the Harbert College of Business, where he previously served as its chair.

“As a respected member of the Auburn Family, Beau Byrd’s achievements and contributions epitomize the high standards and profound influence that Auburn aims to cultivate in every one of our graduates,” President Christopher B. Roberts said. “His unwavering commitment to public service, coupled with his influential leadership and advocacy, truly encapsulates the essence of the Auburn Creed. I am confident that his thoughtful insights will deeply resonate with our graduates.”

Recognized for his legal acumen and business insight, Byrd devotes numerous hours beyond his corporate duties to mentoring young attorneys, contributing to the growth of the legal profession in his native Birmingham. A distinguished member of both the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and having twice chaired the Real Property, Probate and Estate Section of the Alabama State Bar, Byrd’s commitment to his field also extends to academia, where he has served an adjunct professor at both the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and the University of Alabama School of Law.

Listed in Band 1 of Chambers USA, the definitive rankings body for legal excellence across the industry, Byrd has also been named among The Best Lawyers in America® and Mid-South Super Lawyers and maintains the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the nation’s oldest agencies that provides reviews of lawyers and law firms for consumers and professionals.

As a past president of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club, Byrd and his family continue to champion Auburn students by supporting various university programs, including establishing numerous scholarships with his wife, Kathy, sons Walker and Carter, and daughter-in-law Sarah, all proud Auburn alumni.

“Auburn is such an important part of my life and my family’s lives,” said Byrd. “I have been fortunate to serve Auburn over the years with my time and gifts, and it is a tremendous honor to be the summer commencement speaker. I am humbled to have this opportunity to share my thoughts with the Summer 2024 graduates as they prepare for their next chapters.”

Byrd will address more than 1,400 graduates and their families during the university’s summer ceremonies on Aug. 3 at 9 am, 1 pm and 6 pm in Neville Arena. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. Graduates should plan to arrive at the designated time for their college ceremony through the designated student entrance. Guests must enter Neville Arena through the main doors or the scholarship entrance for those with accessibility needs. Tickets are required for entry; registration is open to graduates now through July 8.

All graduates and guests planning to attend commencement must adhere to stated safety protocols, including a clear bag policy. Auburn’s commencement ceremonies are streamed live on the university’s commencement website.

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