Don R. Boyd Endowed Presidential Scholarship

Mar 24, 2011 | EPS/EPF

The Don R. Boyd Endowed Fund, originally created in February 2002 for the benefit of the Department of Geological Sciences, was upgraded to the Don R. Boyd Endowed Presidential Scholarship by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on March 24, 2011. Gift funds were provided by: Mrs. Patricia K. Boyd of Houston, Texas, a 1957 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business; The Don R. and Patricia K. Boyd Foundation of Corpus Christi, Texas; and numerous other individuals in memory of Don. The endowment honors Mr. Don R. Boyd of Corpus Christi, Texas, a 1958 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Geology.

Don R. Boyd and Patricia Kidd Boyd were both born in Tyler, Texas, where the two met in high school. Both attended and graduated from UT Austin, Don with a BS in geology in 1958 and Patricia with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1957. Their marriage of 43 years produced three children, a daughter and two sons, all of whom also graduated from the University. By Patricia’s count, her two granddaughters are currently the 24th and 25th members of their family to attend UT Austin.

After graduation, Don earned an M.S. degree in Geology from Louisiana State University. He began his distinguished career as a geologist in Corpus Christi, Texas with Pan American Petroleum and later joined Texas Eastern. In 1966, he became an independent petroleum geologist and continued his work in petroleum exploration and production. Don was the author of numerous publications on the geology of the Gulf Coast Basin, including two classic and often-cited papers. He was a past President and an Honorary Member of both the Corpus Christi Geological Society and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS).

The Boyd Family at the 1984 Chancellor’s Council Dinner (left to right): David Patrick Boyd, Patricia Kidd Boyd, Don R. Boyd, and Michael Alan Boyd.
Don held many positions with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He received the Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1983 and was elected to Honorary Membership in 1989. He was an Honorary Life Member and three-time Chairman of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council (1980-83). He was honored as a Distinguished Graduate of the Department of Geological Sciences and received the College of Natural Sciences’ Hall of Honor Award. Don was also a Charter Member of LSU’s Geology Endowment Advisory Council.

Don’s lifelong love of cattle and land grew into his favorite avocation. Don and Patricia purchased their first ranch when their children were young and established a longtime family presence in Goliad, Texas. He had a strong passion for conservation and the environment and taught his children and grandchildren, “To always leave things better than you found them.”

In October 2000, the GCAGS honored Don with a newly established medal that carries his name. The Don R. Boyd Medal for Excellence in Gulf Coast Geology is awarded for excellence in research, professional leadership, and oil and gas exploration. The medal is the highest honor bestowed by GCAGS, reflecting Don’s unparalleled commitment to excellence in petroleum geology.

After a courageous 16 year battle with cancer, Don passed away on December 20, 2000, at his home in Corpus Christi. A geologist, rancher, devoted husband, adoring father and grandfather, Don was loved and admired for both the way he lived and the way he bravely fought his illness. His life reflected his deep love of the land, his family, his church, and his profession.

On April 24, 2003, the main auditorium and lecture hall in the Jackson Geology Building on the campus of UT Austin was named the Don R. Boyd Auditorium. Former Jackson School Dean William L. Fisher, of whom Patricia says that Don felt “was one of the best friends he ever had,” is especially proud of this dedication. “He was like a brother,” says Fisher.

Both Don and Patricia served as lifetime members of UT Austin’s Chancellor’s Council, the President’s Associates, the Littlefield Society, and the Texas Exes. Patricia resides in Houston and continues to actively support UT and the Jackson School.

It is Patricia’s wish for the Boyd Endowed Presidential Scholarship to have a direct impact on undergraduate students in the Jackson School. The endowment will fund at least three scholarships which are to be awarded annually to exemplary junior or senior Jackson School students. It serves as her memorial to Don in honor of his spirit of wanting to give back to a profession and a university to which he was totally devoted.

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