Willard “Sandy” Boyd in front of the Old Capitol in 1981. (U-I Library special collections photo.)

Former University of Iowa president Willard “Sandy” Boyd has died at the age of 95.

Boyd was a St. Paul, Minnesota native who practiced law for two years in Minneapolis before joining the U-I law faculty in 1954. He moved up the university ladder — becoming the Iowa City school’s 15th president in 1969. He left to become president of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago in 1981 — returned to the U-I as a law professor in 1996 and served as interim president in 2002-03 before formally retiring in 2015.

Boyd’s 12-year presidency saw a large increase in enrollment and major changes in the campus footprint that included the building of  Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Bowen Science Building, Dental Science Building, College of Nursing, and a major improvement to the University Hospitals building.

Boyd with current U-I President Barbara Wilson on his birthday (3/29/22). (U-I photo)

He was also successful in getting the Board of Regents’ approval for a $500,000 upgrade of the University Hospitals building, which was a large amount in the 1970s.

Boyd is survived by his wife, Susan Kuehn Boyd; their three children, Elizabeth “Betsy” Boyd of Iowa City, Willard Lee “Bill” Boyd III of Des Moines, and Thomas Boyd of St. Paul; and seven grandchildren.

Radio Iowa