NAFEO Nation Joins in Celebrating the Life and Work of Dr. Joann Boyd-Scotland

Farewell Good and Faithful Servant Joann R.G. Boyd-Scotland

February 15, 2016

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Dear Scotland and Denmark Technical College Family and Extended Circle of Friends:

I just learned of the passing of our dear Sister and leader, Dr. Joann R. G. Boyd-Scotland, President Emerita, of Denmark Technical College and the former Chair of the NAFEO Board of Directors.

As you celebrate the life and tremendous work of Dr. Joann Boyd-Scotland, the one hundred and six (106) presidents and chancellors of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and emerging Predominantly Black Institutions and I stand with you. We salute and rejoice in the life of our Sister-Leader, Joann Boyd-Scotland, for her lifetime of service and sacrificial love that among other things, enriched the entire community of colleges known as HBCUs and PBIs, and enriched me, personally.

Dr. Boyd-Scotland was an active and engaged member of NAFEO during her first and second terms as President of Denmark Technical College. As Chair of the NAFEO Board of Directors she ably led NAFEO through challenging years for the association and transitional times for higher education in America. At Denmark Technical College, Dr. Boyd-Scotland increased student enrollment, and markedly increased federal grants and contracts to the college. She balanced the budget and eventually realized a surplus. Dr. Boyd-Scotland built new facilities on and off of the main campus. Among Dr. Boyd-Scotland’s capital improvements at Denmark Tech were a new library and educational technology center, and an off-campus site in Barnwell.

Dr. Boyd-Scotland was a focused, strategic, transformational leader who drove change at Denmark Tech and at NAFEO with dogged determination, and measurable results. I served as outside pro bono counsel to NAFEO during Dr. Boyd-Scotland’s tenure as Chair of the NAFEO Board of Directors. I got to know her as a brilliant, strategic leader who would make tough decisions based on all of the available facts, the best interests of the association, and justice. Dr. Boyd-Scotland stood on the law, policy, truth, and principle even if she had to stand alone. Often she did.

To Dr. Boyd-Scotland, her role as an, “unbought and unbossed” leader was sacrosanct. But so, too, was her role as a mighty woman of faith– wise, precious, patient, honorable and filled with love. Dr. Boyd-Scotland’s understanding that “love is the most endurable power in the world,” enabled us to become and remain friends as it did so many others. No matter what side of a debate Dr. Boyd-Scotland was on, she would reach out to those engaged in the debates of the day, including me, to check on us. She seemed to instinctively know when to pick up the phone, just to “check in.” She always had something inspiring and uplifting to offer, especially during challenging times because Dr. Boyd-Scotland walked the truth that love lifts humankind.

Dr. Boyd-Scotland so loved NAFEO that she lent her daughter Fran Boyd to NAFEO. Fran used her abundant communications and marketing skills to assist in an important rebranding initiative at NAFEO, among other things. Dr. Boyd-Scotland also shared her husband, Rev. Dr. Michael Scotland, with the NAFEO Nation. He was a regular, engaged participant in NAFEO Presidential Peer Seminars. Many HBCU presidents and NAFEO team members and I have benefitted immeasurably from his wise counsel.

NAFEO and I thank Rev. Dr. Michael Scotland. We thank Fran Boyd and the Scotlands’ other four children for sharing Dr. Joann Boyd-Scotland with NAFEO and with me. I thank God for His grace that placed Dr. Boyd-Scotland in the lives of those in the NAFEO Nation, especially in my life. Her leadership and love lifted us all.

Today our hearts and prayers are with the Scotland Family as we join others in acknowledging with profound appreciation a life well lived. “Well done good and faithful servant,” well done Dr. Joann R.G. Boyd-Scotland, “and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

With thanksgiving and joy,

Lezli Baskerville, Esquire
President & CEO