Willard L. Boyd

Rawlings-Miller Professor of Law and President Emeritus

Willard L. Boyd is a lawyer and an educator. He is Rawlings-Miller Professor of Law at the University of Iowa and President Emeritus of the University of Iowa and The Field Museum of Chicago. He serves as Chair of the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center of which he is one of the founders The Center is a university-wide interdisciplinary program involving departments and faculties from across the University who are interested in and engaged with nonprofit organizations.

Professor Boyd has held numerous leadership roles over his career.  Below are a few of his most notable:

Chair of Governor Vilsack’s Task Force on the Role of Nonprofit Organizations in Iowa

Chairman of the American Association of Universities

Chairman of the National Museum Services Board

Chairman of the Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the American Bar Association

Chairman of the Center for Research Libraries (Chicago)

Chair of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute

Chair of Iowa 2000 (1972-78)

Chair of Imagine Iowa (2001)

Chair Iowa Cultural Trust

President of the National Commission on Accrediting


He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute. He has also been a member of a number of boards and committees including the National Council on the Arts, the Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Opera, the Department of State Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee for the Getty Education Institute for the Arts, and the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts, National Arts Strategies, Elderhostel, Illinois Arts and Humanities Councils, the Advisory Board Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Humanities Iowa.


BSL, University of Minnesota, 1949

LLB, University of Minnesota, 1951

LLM, University of Michigan, 1952

SJD, University of Michigan, 1962

Awards and Honors:

Boyd was one of the first winners of the Charles Frankel Prize awarded in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Humanities, honoring five Americans for their efforts to bring history, literature, philosophy and other humanities disciplines to general audiences. In 1996 he was selected as a Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and received The Thomas & Eleanor Wright Award given by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations for individuals whose human relations efforts and activities have spanned all interest lines and for making The Field Museum a place where people of different backgrounds come together for a common reason. The Field Museum received the National Award for Museum Service in 1996 from the Institute of Museum Services.  Boyd was the 1998 winner of the Award for Lifetime Services to the Public Humanities given by Humanities Iowa, the State Humanities Council, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.