SARASOTA, Fla. — Former university president, educator, women’s arts and education advocate, CEO of various advocacy organizations, an authority in theatre and visual arts, lover of historic places, and avid collector of antiques and glassware, Beverley Byers- Pevitts passed away Friday afternoon, Nov. 4, 2022, with her husband, son, sisters, daughter-in-law, and other immediate family members at her side in Sarasota.
Born Aug. 15, 1939, in Horse Branch, Kentucky, to Vera and Stanley Byers, she excelled in academics and the arts in high school. She went on to earn a B.A. from Kentucky Wesleyan College as well as her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Her postdoctoral study was conducted at Harvard University in the Institutes for Higher Education. She was also awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Throughout her career and personal life, she founded, served, and chaired a great number of boards, councils, and organizations. She earned a host of awards and honors in her fields and was well-known and respected throughout the academic, arts, and women’s advocacy world. Her love of teaching and inspiring young minds remained a priority throughout her entire career.
Her travels throughout the Americas and across the world contributed to her openness, acceptance, and love of people, deep affection for opera and theatre, and most importantly, her modesty. Among her favorite places were Santa Fe, New York, Chicago, Colombia, Mexico, and Europe. She was particularly taken by the Rosario Islands Archipelago on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
Beverley is survived by her husband, Bob Pevitts; son, Rob; daughter-in-law, Carmen Angel; sisters, Aggie Byers and Susan Reagan; brother, Stanley Byers; and her beloved nieces and nephews.
All of Beverley’s many friends and family are well aware of her long-held maxim: “I came into this world without fanfare and that’s the way I wish to go out.” As per her wishes, a formal service will not be held. Those who would like to celebrate and honor her life can make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in her name.