Former University of Iowa President Boyd dies at age 95

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Former University of Iowa President Willard “Sandy” Boyd, who led the campus for a dozen years including during the Vietnam War, died Tuesday, according to the university. He was 95.

The university declined to give a cause of death.

Boyd was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on March 29, 1927. He received bachelor of science in law and bachelor of laws degrees from the University of Minnesota, and a master of law and doctor of juridical science degrees from the University of Michigan.

After practicing law for two years in Minneapolis, he joined the University of Iowa law faculty in 1954. Boyd served as president at Iowa from 1969 to 1981, when he became president of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He later returned to the UI as a law professor and served as interim president in 2002 and 2003.

The UI experienced tremendous growth during Boyd’s time as president, with the construction of numerous buildings and increasing enrollment. He was also know for his handling of Vietnam War era student protests, which grew heated at times but did not result in violent riots or serious injuries.

“In large part, this was because Sandy maintained a high degree of presidential visibility at all times,” N. William Hines, dean emeritus of the College of Law, said in a obituary released by the university. “He kept in close contact with law enforcement officers, he regularly made himself available to hear the grievances of disgruntled students, and he recruited a group of trusted faculty volunteers to walk the campus to help keep the peace during the peak of the disorders.”

Boyd is survived by his wife, Susan Kuehn Boyd, their three children and seven grandchildren.

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