Office Suite dedicated to K. Wilhelmina Boyd


Legacies Classification
Memorial Structure
Memorial Type
Academic Facility
Memorial Context
Memorialized Subject
Office Suite dedicated to K. Wilhelmina Boyd
Background and Context
Located in Elon University’s Alamance Building, the K. Wilhelmina Boyd Suite, was dedicated on August 21, 2012. It was named for the founder of Elon’s African and African-American studies program. The suite includes a spacious reception area accented with pieces of African-themed art selected from the university’s art collection. The adjoining conference room includes portraits of distinguished African and African-American visitors to Elon, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Colin Powell, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Judith Jamison, among others. Kay Boyd, Wilhelmina Boyd’s daughter, attended the dedication ceremony and thanked the President and the Board of Trustees for recognizing her mother’s work and vision. Like other student protests occurring at universities around the country after integration, in November 1969 “concerned and enlightened Black students of Elon College” demanded the school offer “a course dealing exclusively with Black studies”, “the hiring of at least one Black professor”, and “the immediate resignation” of a white professor for “overt bigotry”. The college did not support the requests. In 1978 the Black Cultural Society created another petition for Black studies, but the college continued to move slowly. Finally, the first course in African-American studies, “Modern Black American Literature,” was taught in the Department of English in the spring of 1979. Wilhelmina Boyd was hired in 1987, along with other faculty in 1992, to offer more courses in African and African-American Studies. Elon recognized African & African-American Studies as an interdisciplinary program in 1994 under the leadership of Prof. K. Wilhelmina Boyd.
Physical Description
approximately 600 sq. ft.
Memorial Inscription
K. Wilhelmina Boyd Office of African and African-American Studies. This office is named in memory of Wilhelmina Boyd, a distinguished member of the English Department faculty from 1987 to 2005. Professor Boyd created the first African-American literature course in 1988 and founded the interdisciplinary African and African-American Studies minor in 1994. In recognition of her exemplary leadership, upon retirement Professor Boyd was named Associate Professor Emerita of English.
Creator/Participating Person(s)
Elon University
Date created, installed or dedicated
21 August 2021
Funded by
Elon University
Location: Institution, City, State

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