A. Vincent Shea graduated from the University of Virginia in 1934 with a B.S. in Economics, and in 1935 he earned a Master's degree from U.Va. After pursuing graduate work at the University of Chicago and Stanford, Shea joined the U.Va faculty in 1936. After fighting in World War II and earning a Bronze Star, he returned to the university where, over the course of the next fifty years he held various administrative and faculty positions, including Bursar (1947-59), assistant to President Colgate W. Darden (1947-59), secretary to the Board of Visitors (1947-1954), Comptroller (1954-1970), and Vice President for Business and Finance (1970-1977, at which point he retired and returned to teaching full-time). He was given the Thomas Jefferson Award by President Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. in 1974.