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In Memoriam - Dr. Cliff Boyd
The Department of Anthropological Sciences in the Radford University’s College of Science and Technology mourns the loss of long-time faculty member Dr. Cliff Boyd, who passed away on March 9, 2021. He had been at Radford University for over 35 years, serving as Co-Director of the Radford University Forensic Science Institute (RUFSI) for the past 12 years.
Dr. Boyd received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee and was a nationally renowned archaeologist. He was the author of three books and over 300 other professional publications on Eastern United States archaeology. Dr. Boyd's areas of research interests included southeastern archaeology, anthropological theory, Civil War battlefield archaeology, and forensic archaeology. He was a member of RU's Million Dollar Circle, having brought in more than 1 million dollars in external funding to RU through his archaeological research. This research resulted in seminal contributions to Virginia history and prehistory.
Dr. Boyd was passionate about teaching archaeology, particularly through field school experiences that he supervised nearly every summer. In 2008, he led an RU archaeological field school to Guadalcanal to search for remains of WWII soldiers from the Goettge Patrol. He leaves a legacy of outstanding teaching as evidenced by the hundreds of students he influenced and trained, including many who have gone on to become professional archaeologists. His outstanding teaching, research, and service contributions have been recognized through numerous regional, state, and national awards, including Professional Archeologist of the Year (Archeological Society of Virginia, 1998), Foundation Award for Creative Scholarship (Radford University, 1999), Outstanding Faculty Award (State Council for Higher Education of Virginia, 2008) and the Ellis R. Kerley Foundation Outstanding Research Award (American Academy of Forensic Sciences, 2016).
Dean Rogers said, “Dr. Cliff Boyd was a legendary teacher, researcher, and mentor in the Artis College of Science and Technology and during his over 35 years as a faculty member at Radford University. His list of professional contributions includes three books and over 300 other professional publications in his field of Eastern United States archaeology. His professional honors and awards include membership in the Radford University One Million Dollar Circle for external grant awards, Professional Archeologist of the Year in 1998, the Radford University Foundation Award for Creative Scholarship in 1999, the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award in 2008 and the Ellis R. Kerley Foundation Outstanding Research Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 2016. He was truly passionate about forensic science research and contributed to the education of thousands of students as well as thousands of professionals ranging from local law enforcement agencies to the Virginia State Police and the FBI. Dr. Boyd served as a consultant to the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on over 200 death investigations as well as co-director of the Radford University Forensic Science Institute for the past twelve years. Dr. Cliff Boyd helped to establish Radford University as an institution for preeminent forensic science undergraduate education in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and he leaves a legacy of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.”
Dr. Boyd helped countless families locate and identify their loved ones and mitigate the circumstances of their death through his expertise in forensic archaeology. He consulted on over 200 forensic death investigation cases for the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and was well-known among regional, state, and national law enforcement entities (including the Virginia State Police and the FBI) for providing his assistance on some of their toughest cases. Dr. Boyd single-handedly trained thousands of law enforcement agents on proper search, excavation, and recovery of remains from covert graves and in 2015 was named an honorary member of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy.
Cliff Boyd is survived by his wife and three children, of whom he was most proud. He will be greatly missed.
To honor Dr. Cliff Boyd’s legacy, Anthropological Sciences faculty are collaborating to establish a fund that will support Radford University students studying archaeology. Alumni and friends are invited to join their effort by contributing to this memorial fund.
Gifts can be made online by visiting, https://connect.radford.edu/artis, under fund, select, “C. Clifford Boyd Archaeology Student Award.”
Additionally, Dr. Cliff Boyd and Dr. Donna Boyd have an endowed scholarship supporting students involved in forensic or anthropological science research. If you are interested in donating to this fund, please select “Boyd Forensic & Anthropological Sciences Scholarship”
If you would prefer sending a check, please make the check payable to Radford University Foundation, and mail to: PO Box 6893, Radford, VA 24142. On the "Memo" line please include the name of the fund you would like to support.
For questions, please contact Vanessa Conner, Assistant Director for University Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-831-7757