Beverly Boyd, Professor Emerita of English of the University of Kansas, She died January 26, 2019, at Brandon Woods at Alvamar. She was cremated and, at her direction, there will be no service of any kind.
Professor Boyd was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of James Gray Boyd and Elspeth Mossop Boyd. A graduate of New Dorp High School on Staten Island, Prof. Boyd received her B.A. from Brooklyn College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Prof. Boyd enjoyed a long career marked by a number of substantial contributions in the field of hagiography and medieval literature, especially Chaucer studies.
After receiving her Ph.D., Prof. Boyd taught at the University of Texas at Austin (1955-59) and Radford College (1959-62), which was then the “women’s division” of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, before taking up a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas. Promoted to full Professor in 1969, her career at KU was distinguished by a number of university awards, including Mortarboard Outstanding Educator Award (1976), election to its Women’s Hall of Fame (1977), and the English department’s Edward F. Grier Award for Research-based Teaching (1991). Her outstanding teaching was further recognized in 2005 with the Fry Award.
Dr. Boyd made her publishing debut as a medievalist with “Chaucer’s Prioress: Her Green Gauds,” in Modern Language Quarterly in 1950, which was based on her master’s thesis. Over the succeeding decades she continued to enrich the field of medieval studies with such articles as “Wiclif and the Sarum Ordinal,” in Medium Aevum (1960); “Whatever Happened to Chaucer’s Renaissance?” in Fifteenth Century Studies (1978); “Phillippine Duchesne,” in Mystics Quarterly (1988), one of several articles she wrote that helped support St. Phillippine’s canonization and led to Dr. Boyd’s being honored with the Rose Phillippine Duchesne Award from the Archdiocese of Kansas City; “The Infamous b-Text of the Canterbury Tales,” in Manuscripta (1990); and, more recently, “Ewelme Church, Oxfordshire: Heraldic Glass of Chaucer’s Family,” in Stained Glass (2005).
Several of Dr. Boyd’s full-length studies are considered standards in her field. Among them are Chaucer and the Liturgy (Dorrance, 1967); Chaucer and the Medieval Book (Huntington Library, 1973), which she wrote with support of her Guggenheim Fellowship; and The Prioress’s Tale, Part 20 of A Variorum Edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited by Paul G. Ruggiers (University of Oklahoma Press, 1987); Chaucer and the Taverners of Ipswich (Mellen, 2015).
Her work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Huntington Library, American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and the Ford Foundation. Prof. Boyd received the Distinguished Alumna Award from her alma mater, Brooklyn College, CUNY, in 1979, and has been honored by inclusion in Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who of Women, and Who’s Who in American Education.