U.S. Sen. Robert W. Byrd, whose nearly 60 years representing West Virginia made him Congress's longest-serving member and brought his state (and its colleges) untold millions in earmarked projects, died Monday at the age of 92. Byrd was never a central player in federal higher education policy making (apart from having a scholarship program named for him), but he was a kingmaker in the appropriations process, and a vocal defender of the use of lawmaker-directed earmarks (often derided as "pork barrel spending"). West Virginia's colleges are dotted with buildings bearing his name.
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