The Board of Directors of the Chaffey High School Alumni Association is proud to announce that Gary C. Byrne, Ph.D., Class of 1962, has been selected as the 2012 Tiger of the Year. Dr. Byrne was nominated by his classmate and 2004 Tiger of the Year Bruce Grube, Ph.D. and CHS ’62.

While a student at Chaffey, Gary was extraordinarily active, serving Associated Student Body (ASB) President, Sophomore Class Vice President, Key Club President, and Interclub Council President.  As an athlete, he lettered in both football and baseball and was named an All-League baseball player. Gary was also an academic honor student. 

Despite being a gifted athlete, Gary admits that he was the worst dancer at Chaffey High School.  How someone so athletic could be so uncoordinated and oblivious to a musical beat remains a mystery to this day.  Fortunately, his accomplishments have not been limited by his lack of dancing skills.

Following his graduation in 1960, Gary graduated from the University of Redlands, Magna cum Laude, attended the Goethe Institut in Bad Reichenhall, Germany, and the University of Bonn, Germany.  He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1969.

Gary has enjoyed a varied and interesting career, characterized by excellence and service over several decades.  Following his doctoral work at UNC, he worked as a professor at San Diego State University.  He then shifted to the private sector and was involved with Arthur Young & Company; was a partner and director with Miller & Byrne; and, served as Vice President and Director of Elliott Homes, Inc., a regional homebuilding company in Sacramento. Gary maintained his public service by serving as a Trustee and Second Vice Chairman for the University of Redlands, and as a Trustee for Sutter Community Hospitals and Health System.

From 1979 to 1989, Gary was Chairman of the Board of Meridian National Bank of Concord, California, a part of the Alex Brown Financial Group.  From 1985 to 1989, he was Chairman/CEO/President of the Alex Brown Financial Group.

In 1990, Gary’s interests evolved, and he became Governor of the Rural Telephone Bank (a lending institution with assets of approximately $5 billion that focused on the needs of rural and cooperative telephone companies).  He held this position simultaneously with the position of Administrator of the Rural Electrification Administration, now known as the Rural Utilities Service.  Gary was appointed to this position by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 – a singular honor for a Chaffey High School graduate.  In a second appointment by the President of the United States, he was named a Member of the Board of the Farm Credit Administration (an independent regulatory agency providing oversight to the $80 billion farm credit system).  From 1992 to 1995, Gary served as the Chairman of the Farm Credit system Insurance Corporation. 

Currently, Gary is the President of Vesta Capital Partners and resides in Santa Barbara, California.  He continues to be very active.  His writings have been published by Barron’s, Wall Street Journal, Investor Business Daily, Seeking Alpha, Journal of Politics, Journalism Quarterly, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Business Forum, and Summation. He has also published three books:  “The Great American Convention,” “Seven Paths to Poverty: Finding Financial Security in an Unstable World,” and “Politics in Western European Democracies.”