Byron Adam Hicks was born on August 30, 1916 in Moneta, Virginia. He graduated from Bedford High School in Bedford, Virginia in 1934 and graduated from Roanoke College in 1938. Hicks continued his education at the University of Virginia, where he earned his B.S. in Economics in 1938. Hicks then went onto attend the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University from 1950-1952.
Hicks served in the United States Navy from 1943-1946, and was ranked as Lieutenant-Senior Grade. Hicks worked with the University Credit Company in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1939-1942, and then went on to work with Hercules Power Company in Radford, Virginia. Hicks worked for the First National Exchange Bank of Virginia for 35 years, and also served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the same bank. Hicks then became the president and chief executive officer of Dominion Bankshares Corporation for 15 years. Hicks ended his career with this corporation as chairman of the board, chairman of the executive committee, and chief executive officer.
Hicks was a member of the Shenandoah Club, the Roanoke Country Club, and the Roanoke German Club. He was active in the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Hicks was a member of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce (industrial development committee) as well as the Virginia Bankers Association (legislative committee). He served the Skyline Council for the Girl Scouts of America, and was part of the Christian Communications Foundation. He was a member of the Roanoke Symphony, and was second vice president of the Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley, Incorporated.
Hicks served on the Roanoke Valley Regional Health Planning Committee, as well as the VPI Educational Foundation. He worked with the southwest branch of the Children's Home Society of Virginia, and was part of the Virginia Baptist Children's Home. Hicks worked with the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Hicks worked with the Southern Seminary Junior College and gave her time to the Salvation Army. Hicks was on the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (local chairman appointed by President Jimmy Carter) and was on the committee for Cherry Hill House in south Roanoke.
Hicks was a past member of the board of deacons at Virginia Heights Baptist Church, and gave much of his time back to Roanoke College. He served on the Board of Trustees for 15 years, and was vice president of that same board for 5 years. Hicks was on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, and was chairman of the Executive Committee. He worked with the Development Advisory Committee and with the Nominations Committee. He has given his time to the Academic Affairs Committee and the Budget Sub-committee at Roanoke, and as also served on the Associates Steering Committee. He was the honorary chairman of Roanoke College Associates and was on the leadership committee for the Roanoke Valley business/corporate campaign.
Byron Hicks received the Roanoke College Medal in 1979 for his distinguished career and outstanding service to the community and his profession. His many contributions to countless organizations and generous donations set him apart in receiving this award. He and his wife, Agens Cunningham Hicks raised two children together; Martha Holland Hicks and Celia H. Gehring.
Byron A. Hicks received the Roanoke College Medal in 1979.