Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Throughout his more than 65 years at the University of Iowa, Sandy Boyd served our institution in many capacities. One of his earliest tasks was helping to conceive and establish the University of Iowa Foundation (now known as the UI Center for Advancement).

In 1955, Boyd was appointed by then president Virgil Hancher to look at various models of how fundraising was organized at our sister Big Ten universities. After extensive research and visits by train to other institutions, Boyd made his recommendations to President Hancher. The State University of Iowa Foundation was formed in 1956 with the goal of helping the university meet needs beyond those provided for by state support.

The foundation raised approximately $28,000 from 1,300 contributors in that first year. But most importantly, Boyd played a significant role in establishing an organization that harnesses the collective generosity of our supporters from around the world to provide crucial and enduring support for our students and faculty, for life-changing research, and so much more.

Boyd and his wife, Susan, were among the first and most dedicated contributors to the university and gave generously to many areas, including the College of Law, UI Health Care, Hancher, and the museums. Boyd established the Susan Kuehn Boyd Iowa Writers’ Fellowship Fund to honor Susan’s career as a reporter and her love for writing and literature.

Both Sandy and Susan served on the foundation’s board—Sandy from 1969 until 1981 and then again as interim UI president/ex officio from 2002 to 2003. Susan began serving in 1982 and, in 1994, was named lifetime honorary director.

Boyd has left an indelible mark on the University of Iowa and its people. In 2016, as Boyd prepared to retire, an interviewer asked him, “What does the University of Iowa mean to you?” Boyd answered, simply, “One could say that it’s been my life.”