Bruce W. Byars, associate professor of accountancy, passed away on Feb. 14, 2021, following an intense, brief battle with cancer. He was 67.
Bruce was born and raised in Grand Forks. Following graduation from Red River High School, Byars enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving our country until he was honorably discharged.
Bruce attended the University of North Dakota and graduated with a BBA in management in 1995, MBA in 1997, and Juris Doctorate in 2000.
His passion for teaching started while working as a graduate assistant in 1996. Following his MBA, Bruce served as a lecturer, assistant professor, and was promoted to an associate professor, serving the college for nearly 25 years.
Bruce was dedicated to his students and played an instrumental role in providing them an exceptional education at the Nistler College.
In 2019, Bruce was nominated by students and received the college’s Beta Gamma Sigma Professor of the Year award. His knowledge of business law was an important foundation for the myriads of career paths our graduates pursue.
“Bruce Byars taught, challenged, and inspired thousands of business majors over more than twenty years of teaching at UND. For accounting majors, it is impossible to overstate his contributions to their success on the business law portion of the CPA exam. Bruce will be missed and remembered fondly by the UND community,” said Kate Campbell, Professor and Chair, Department of Accountancy.
As a licensed attorney, Byars was the sole practitioner for Byars Law Office, and served family and civil mediator for the Conflict Resolution Center.
Bruce maintained professional membership with the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Academy of Legal Studies in Business, American Bar Association, and State Bar Association of North Dakota.
His service to the community included a long-standing role on the Institutional Review Board for Altru Hospital.
“We are saddened to hear of the loss of Bruce. He was a valued member of the Nistler College for many years, and his loss will be felt by all of us. We are thinking of his family during this difficult time,” said Amy B. Henley, Dean, Nistler College of Business and Public Administration.
Bruce is survived by his wife Sibylle; daughter, Elizabeth; 2 sisters and 2 brothers.
At his request there will be no formal services held at this time due to Covid 19. Friends, family and former students are invited to sign his online guestbook at Amundson Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations are given in Bruce’s name to the American Diabetes Association.