New memoir from President Emeritus Sandy Boyd recounts his Midwestern life and lessons from 13 years leading the University of Iowa

Sandy Boyd was a newly graduated law student who had committed his life to helping others, so he set out for Washington, D.C., with the hope of finding work in the federal law and policy-making apparatus that influences so many lives.

He knocked on doors and introduced himself around the District, one of which belonged to a member of the Georgetown Law School faculty.

“He told me to go home,” says Boyd, a Minnesota native. “You don’t want to get buried as a bureaucrat in Washington, he said. Your position in the outer regions will give you greater access to policy decisions going on in D.C. than if you became a bureaucrat.”

So he returned home and, indeed, made a difference from his native Midwest, including his seven-decade association with the University of Iowa as a professor of law and the institution’s president. Boyd reflects on his Midwestern life and its impact in his new memoir, A Life on the Middle West’s Never-Ending Frontier, to be published May 20 by the UI Press.

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