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Release: Sept. 13, 2002

UI graduate student collects Boyd commencement speeches in book

Photo: President Boyd with Holly Huffman (Click here for photo enlargements)

A collection of commencement speeches given by Interim President Willard "Sandy" Boyd during his first term as UI president has been published in limited edition by a university graduate student as part of a class project.

"Never Too Brief: Commencement Speeches During the 1970s and 1980s" will be completed this fall by Holly Huffman, a student from Wellman, Iowa, in the university's graduate program in library sciences. About 45 copies from the first printing are being sold for $40 each, the cost of which helps Huffman cover her expenses. Copies can be purchased by contacting the University of Iowa Center for the Book at (319) 335-1715.

The book is the result of a project Huffman completed for a class offered by the Center for the Book in which students print and bind their own books using a piece of previously unpublished writing. Looking for something to publish, Huffman approached Boyd last January through the university's Iowa Non-Profit Resource Center, where she worked and which Boyd founded. Boyd liked her idea and gave her seven speeches that he selected with his family for Huffman to publish.

She said events since then have likely increased interest in the book.

"I knew there would be interest in the university community because he's such a beloved figure in the state," she said. "It's just a happy accident that he became president again."

She said the speeches reflect Boyd's philosophy of being warm, uplifting and positive.

"He encourages graduates to live a good life," she said. "To live fully, strongly, rightly, justly, to be somebody and contribute something, not just be a little wisp."

The speeches are also, as the book title implies, brief.

"His wife, Susan, said you can never be too brief in a commencement speech, so he keeps them short," Huffman said.