Published on June 7, 2017 by William Nunnelley  

When Cookeville, Tennessee, pharmacist Alvin W. Boyd and his wife, Julia, put together their estate plan, they included Boyd’s alma mater, Samford University, as a beneficiary. Boyd earned his pharmacy degree from Samford more than 60 years ago, in 1955, when the school was still Howard College in East Lake. He returned home to practice as a pharmacist in his hometown, where he owned Boyd Drug Store.

“He opened his store on the downtown square in Cookeville in 1956,” said his nephew, Ernie Evans, of Cookeville. “He closed it in 1991 but continued to work several years for other drug stores in Cookeville.”

Boyd was a veteran of World War II with service in France, rising to the rank of technical sergeant. He was a Rotarian and lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church in Cookeville, and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.

Julia Boyd was a librarian with degrees from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and George Peabody College. She retired after 40 years of service as director of Upper Cumberland Regional Library in Cookeville.

Alvin Boyd died in 1998 and Julia Boyd in 2014. After her death, Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy received an unrestricted bequest of $614,000 from the Boyd estate.

“I thank Alvin and Julia Boyd for their incredible generosity,” said Michael Crouch, dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy. “This estate gift has an immediate impact and allows the school to recruit students dedicated to servant leadership through pharmacy. A portion of the gift supports immediate scholarships, and the bequest also establishes the Alvin and Julia Boyd endowment that will provide significant scholarships on an annual basis.”

The gift will be part of the Forever Samford campaign to raise $300 million over the next six years.

Evans noted that Boyd had several ties with Samford. He was a roommate of Clayton McWhorter, the benefactor for whom Samford’s pharmacy school is named, during student days. Six members of Boyd’s family graduated from Samford’s Cumberland School of Law during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the law school still was located in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.