Former president Boyd receives honor from former president Coleman
Monday, December 16, 2013

The University of Michigan honored University of Iowa law professor and president emeritus Willard “Sandy” Boyd with an honorary doctorate of laws during the school’s winter commencement ceremonies on Sunday, Dec. 15.

willard "Sandy" Boyd
Willard "Sandy" Boyd

Boyd is a University of Michigan alumnus, receiving his Master's and Doctoral degrees in law from its law school. He joined the UI College of Law faculty in 1954, then served as the university’s fifteenth president from 1969 to 1981.

He left to become president of the world-renowned Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, returning to UI in 1996 after his retirement to teach law and later found the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center.

Boyd was president during some of the most tumultuous years in the university’s history, and a time when enrollment increased from 8,400 to 25,100 and new building projects nearly doubled the size of the university’s campus. His contributions to the UI campus are enshrined in the Boyd Law Building, home of the UI College of Law, and Boyd Tower at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Boyd was also interim president for one year following the departure of UI president Mary Sue Coleman to become president of the University of Michigan in 2002. It was Coleman who presented him with his honorary degree last weekend.