In the 1930s he worked as an economist and statistician, and
then as assistant director, for the University of Virginia's
Bureau of Public Administration. He married Eleanor Deane
Gray before the start of the Second World War in which he
served in major operations in the Pacific against Japan as
a distinguished officer in the United States Navy. In the
fall of 1946 he received the Bronze Star for his distinguished
service in WWII.
In July of 1947 he began working in administration, as the
Bursar, at the University of Virginia. He was to serve as
administrative assistant to the President, and Comptroller
before being appointed Vice President for business and finance.
In 1974 president of the University, Edgar F. Shannon Jr.
presented Shea with perhaps the most coveted award bestowed
by the University, the Thomas Jefferson Award. Presenting
at Founder's Day ceremonies, Shannon cited Shea's "single-minded
effort to raise the level of faculty salaries [as] one of
his most noteworthy accomplishments."
Daily Progress, April 16, 1974
The University of Virginia Alumni News, October, 1947
file from Reference Office on Vincent Shea, October 20, 1961)