Willard Boyd Death, Obituary – Willard “Sandy” Boyd was the 15th president of the University of Iowa from 1969 to 1981, then returned to the university in 1996 as a law professor, and then served as temporary president from 2002 to 2003. Even after he had officially left his position at the university in 2015, he continued to offer his guidance to any member of the teaching staff or administrative staff who sought it out. Photo provided courtesy of the Special Collections department at the University of Iowa Libraries. Early on, Willard “Sandy” Boyd’s life took the direction that was predetermined for it.
His family lived in the area of the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota College of Agriculture while he was growing up because his father, Willard Boyd Sr., was a professor at the college during his career. The elder Boyd made frequent trips around the state to educate farmers on more effective ways of crop and livestock management. This was aid that farmers, who were already struggling to make ends meet due to the Great Depression. The younger Boyd would occasionally accompany his father on these road excursions, and he would see as his father worked with people who were frequently in difficult situations while maintaining his warmth and decency. Sandy’s life was significantly shaped as a result of those journeys.
Boyd stated in 2007 that the experience “instilled in me at a very young age the importance of public service and the value of giving people the tools that make their lives better.” [Citation needed] “It instilled in me the value of giving people the tools that make their lives better.” His dedication to public service stretched almost nine decades, during which time he served in a variety of capacities at the University of Iowa, including more than 65 years as an employee there, two terms as president, and roles as law professor, champion, and lifelong friend. Boyd passed on the following day, Tuesday, December 13, 2022, in Iowa City. He was 95.
Sandy was well-liked by everyone associated with the university, and he will always be remembered as one of the most important figures in the annals of University of Iowa history. His impact and influence continue to have a significant and long-lasting effect on the quality of life at this institution up to this day. According to the President of the University of Idaho, Barbara Wilson, “He exemplified who and what we are as an institution with integrity, grace, compassion, humor, and humanity, and he made significant and long-lasting contributions to the improvement of both the university and our society.” Our hearts go out to every member of his family, as well as to all of the people who loved and cared for him during his life.