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Boyd’s gift helps break Day of Giving Records

Col. Tom Boyd

Col. Tom Boyd, a 1971 Journalism graduate, has created the WVU Reed College of Media’s first faculty fellowship fund with a $150,000 gift that helped the College shatter its annual Day of Giving record.

The Col. Thomas J. Boyd Faculty Fellowship Fund gift contributed to the College of Media’s total of more than $336,000 raised on WVU’s Day of Giving, surpassing last year’s total by more than $200,000.

Boyd’s gift will allow for two annual awards of $3,000 each to support faculty members who are not yet fully promoted and who are excelling in teaching, research or creative work. The funds may be used for conference travel, research or creative support, technology or equipment enhancements, library resources and undergraduate or graduate student support.

While on the Visiting Committee, I was greatly impressed with the diversity and innovation of the courses offered. This is only possible through hard-working, talented faculty who give their utmost toward keeping these courses relevant and interesting. What better way to help the College than to financially help newer faculty members continue to develop professionally and make their courses even more worthwhile? Col. Tom Boyd

When Boyd graduated from WVU, he was also commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force through the AFROTC program. He later earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Auburn University.

During his 30-year Air Force career, Boyd served as director of public affairs for Air Education and Training Command, U.S. Forces Japan, and the U.S. Pacific Command, and while in the Pentagon, he was communications counselor to the Air Force Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force. In 1986, he was recognized by the Aviation and Space Writers Association as the top military public affairs officer for his crisis communication management at Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

After retiring from the Air Force, Boyd served as the assistant to the Chief of Naval Information for professional development and education for the U.S. Navy’s public affairs community, which he did for three years, establishing a concentrated master’s degree program in mass communications through San Diego State University.

“In addition to Col. Boyd’s impressive career and service to our country, he has long been a great supporter of the Reed College of Media,” said Dean Diana Martinelli. “I am especially grateful for his steadfast guidance and encouragement over the years, and now we are honored to have a much-needed faculty fellowship in his name.”

Boyd served three 3-year terms on the Reed College of Media’s Visiting Committee, chairing it from 2020-2023. He also connected the College to the Defense Information School (DINFOS), planting the seed for an official partnership and the establishment of a DINFOS cohort as part of the online Integrated Marketing Communications master’s program. In May, 11 DINFOS graduates will join 37 others who have earned their M.S. IMC degree since the cohort launched in 2021.

“We are truly grateful to Col. Boyd, to the alumni and Visiting Committee members who created funding challenges, and to our other 2024 Day of Giving donors for helping us establish a new fundraising record,” said Martinelli. “Your support truly makes a difference in the quality of our programs.”

To learn more about funding options to support media students, faculty or programs, contact Mary Esposito at mesposito@wvuf.org.