David Ross Boyd

Class of
David Ross Boyd

David Ross Boyd

“Having seen [the campus] for the first time, [Boyd] looked around him and said…‘What possibilities! What possibilities!’ That is the spirit of the University of Oklahoma. It is an institution that believes in possibilities.”
David Boren


Dr. David Ross Boyd was born in Ohio and served as superintendent of schools in Ohio from 1880 to 1888 before moving to Arkansas City, Kansas where he became superintendent of schools from 1888 to 1892. Upon his arrival in the Oklahoma Territory to organize and serve as the first president of the University of Oklahoma in Norman (1892-1908), he planned the reservation of 400,000 acres in the Cherokee Strip and Kiowa-Comanche territories for support of state schools of higher learning. He also organized 300,000 acres on which to erect public buildings. He was appointed as superintendent of education for the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions in 1908 and later became the president of the University of New Mexico. He returned to Norman as president emeritus of the University of Oklahoma in 1930.

Fun fact

Hired by mail, Dr. Boyd arrived in Norman to join three other faculty members to organize the University of Oklahoma. In the first year, they enrolled 69 students and held classes on the second floor of an office building on West Main Street.

Oklahoma connections

Boyd came to Norman on September 15, 1892, after riding the Santa Fe train from Kansas to Guthrie in August of 1892.









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