Darnell W. Boyd, Jr. Scholarship at Washington and Lee University
Darnall W. Boyd, Jr. graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He died in an accident in 1985.
Darnall (Donny) and Susan Boyd, along with other family members and friends, established the Darnall W. Boyd, Jr. ’78 Memorial Scholarship Endowment in 1989. The scholarship, for tuition only, was awarded every fourth year to an outstanding incoming student from Columbia, South Carolina for the student’s full four-year-term. In 2016 the foundation made a significant commitment to increase the scholarship endowment to a level that provides full tuition to an incoming student from the Columbia area each year. More recently the foundation committed to further find the scholarship endowment to fun the tuition and room and board for a Columbia area student each year.
The scholarship continues the legacy of Darnall W. Boyd, Jr. and perpetuates the Washington and Lee’s time-honored values by which he lived: honor, civility, integrity and commitment to community.
Sandhills School Scholarship Program
Originally established in 1975, Sandhills School is an independent, nonprofit school serving students in first through twelfth grades with dyslexia and other related language based learning differences. Uniquely positioned as one of only eighteen accredited Orton-Gillingham schools in the world, Sandhills is home to students from twenty-five zip codes across South Carolina and includes families that have moved from eight states to that their children can attend.
Sandhills provides intensive, individualized, multisensory instruction with a teacher to student ratio of 1 to 3. This level of research based instructional intervention is expensive and can often be financially prohibitive for many families.
Sandhills desires to help all students with language-based learning disabilities but does not have an endowment. Each year the school raises funds specifically to fund need-based scholarships. In an effort to continue and expand the scholarship opportunities as Sandhills, the foundation in 2021 pledged to match, dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $250,000, all scholarship funds raised by the school. The foundation expects to renew that pledge each year.
Boyd Scholarship Program at Clemson University
Prior to his death in 2015, Darnall (Donny) Boyd met with Dean Anand Gramopadhye of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson University to discuss the shortage of graduates in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). After Mr. Boyd’s death in 2015, discussions between Clemson and the foundation continued about what could be done to encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM.
Clemson determined that some students initially pursuing STEM careers were underprepared in certain foundational areas, became frustrated and eventually dropped out or changed majors. A program was developed whereby freshman STEM students who might struggle are identified and offered alternative courses during their first two semesters as well as an additional summer program, in effect stretching their first two semesters of their first year at Clemson into three semesters.
The foundation agreed to provide the funding for the course development, instructional personnel and summer tuition and room and board for these “Boyd Scholars.” For the 2019- 2020 school year fifty-four students were named Boyd Scholars and through their second year at Clemson, fifty-three students are still attending Clemson, 74% remain in engineering majors and 91% remain in STEM majors. For the 2020-2021 school year twenty-eight were named Boyd Scholars and all of these students are still attending Clemson after their first year with 96% remaining in an engineering major. For the 2021-2022 school year we have one hundred four students enrolled in our alternate first year engineering curriculum who could be named Boyd Scholars in Spring of 2022 if they meet the eligibility criteria. Preliminary results indicate that the program is helping to reduce the STEM dropout rate.