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Bertie Martin Selvey ('58)
Bertie took on one of the biggest challenges Richmond, Va., had to offer and helped save one of America’s architectural wonders. In the late 1920s the Byrd Theatre opened its doors to an excited audience eager to enjoy the opulent marvels of the “show palace,” including its Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ and 18-foot Czechoslovakian crystal chandelier. Unfortunately, in later decades the Byrd fell on hard times. Now, however, the theater is experiencing a rejuvenation, thanks to Bertie’s efforts. A Richmond resident and passionate fundraiser for the arts, Bertie was drawn to the beauty of the movie palace. Determined to give new life to the Byrd, she organized a group of volunteers, the Byrd Watchers, to work to save the theater. Now their efforts have established the Byrd Theatre Foundation to operate the theater, preserve its character and expand its offerings. Thanks to Bertie’s dedication, the Byrd will continue to awe and delight audiences.
“Find at least a handful of passionate people who are willing to work hard for nothing but personal satisfaction.”