Willard Boyd Obituary, Death – Life for Willard “Sandy” Boyd was preordained. The family of Willard Boyd Sr., a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Agriculture, lived close to the St. Paul campus. During the Great Depression, the elder Boyd taught farmers how to manage their farms and animals more effectively. The younger Boyd accompanied his father on these road trips and saw firsthand how kind and decent he was to those in need. Trips Sandy took impacted her life. Boyd said in 2007 that the experience had taught him the importance of doing good deeds and giving people the tools to better their lives. His nearly nine decades of public service included 65 years as a law professor, ally, and friend at the University of Iowa. Boyd passed away on 12/13/2022 in Iowa City. 95-year-old
Sandy will always be remembered as a significant figure in UI history because she was adored by the university community. His impact may still be seen in the institution’s excellence and spirit. According to UI President Barbara Wilson, he represented our school with honesty, grace, kindness, humor, and humanity. He also improved both the university and our society. We offer our condolences to his family and to everyone who knew and loved him. In Minnesota in 1927, Willard Lee “Sandy” Boyd Jr. was born. He received his M.L. and J.D. from the University of Michigan after receiving his B.S. in Law and B.L. from the University of Minnesota. Before beginning his career in the UI law department in 1954, he spent two years practicing law in Minneapolis. He was appointed vice president of academic affairs in 1964.
Before taking the helm at the Field Museum in Chicago, Boyd served as the 15th president of the UI from 1969 to 1981. He joined the UI as a law professor in 1996 after leaving the Field, and served as temporary president from 2002 to 2003. In 2015, he left the organization but continued to provide faculty and administration with advice. The university extended its state and national outreach throughout Boyd’s twelve years as president during which time new facilities, faculty, and researchers were added. For all Iowans to have access to a top public university, he sought to establish the University of Iowa.