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story.lead_photo.caption From left, Major Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri Army National Guard, chats with state Rep. Travis Fitzwater and retired Major Gen. Byron Bagby at an event at William Woods University in Fulton. Photo by Jenny Gray / Fulton Sun.

Byron S. Bagby has gone from groundskeeper to new member of the William Woods Board of Trustees.

"I worked there on the yard crew, cutting grass in the summer," he said. "It was hard, hot work. I also worked in Tucker Dining Hall washing dishes when I was in high school."

His mother, Jeanette Brown, also worked at William Woods as a domestic worker and performing interior maintenance.

"I'm thrilled to be reengaged back at one of the (colleges) in Fulton," Bagby said. "That my mom worked there (at William Woods) is so special."

Bagby is a retired U.S. Army major general. His appointment to the WWU board is effective immediately.

Bagby, who was working in the Pentagon during the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, is the second Army general to be appointed to the WWU board. Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, current adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, also is a member.

"It is my honor to join the William Woods University family," Bagby said. "William Woods has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence, and I am eager to put my life's experience in senior executive leadership and management to use in helping this fine institution continue to move forward."

A 33-year veteran, Bagby possesses a wide variety of experience leading diverse and complex organizations up to and including the executive level. His expertise includes executive leadership development and coaching, higher education and strategic planning. He is the current chair of the board of advisers for the Ryan Consulting Group, which performs IT consulting services and also is a member of the board of trustees at Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama. He also served on the Westminster College Board of Trustees from 2012-17.

During his military career, Bagby served as commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College (Norfolk, Virginia). This organization educates military and government leaders in nine programs, one of which is accredited to confer a master's degree.

Bagby has two Distinguished Service Medals, four Defense Superior Service Medals and the Bronze Star Medal. He is also qualified as an Army ranger and a master parachutist.

Bagby graduated from Westminster College in 1978 with a degree in economics. At the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, he earned a master's in higher education in 1987. He also completed the Board of Director Education course at the University of North Carolina (2014), the National Security Studies Program at George Washington University (2010) and the Army Strategic Leadership Development Program at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels.

He is a past recipient of the Westminster College Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award, Kingdom of Callaway Supper Honoree and a member of the Fulton Public Schools Foundation Hall of Fame.

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