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Stanford Report, January 26, 2000

Harper Boyd, former marketing professor, dies at 82

Harper W. Boyd Jr., who taught at the Graduate School of Business for more than a decade, died Nov. 15 in Naples, Fla., where he collapsed after playing tennis. He was 82.

Boyd's long career in education began in 1952, when he joined Northwestern University as an associate professor shortly after earning his doctorate there. Boyd was chairman of the marketing department at Northwestern and director of its business school graduate division when he left to take a position on the marketing faculty at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in 1963. He was the first holder of the Sebastian S. Kresge Professorship in marketing here and was also director of the International Center for the Advancement of Management Education (ICAME), which educated professors of management from emerging countries. He was named Marketing Educator of the Year in 1967 by Sales and Marketing Executives International and was vice president for the educational division of the American Marketing Association. Boyd left Stanford in 1974.

After Stanford, Boyd served as Robert and Vivian Young Professor of Marketing at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, dean of the Tulane University Graduate School of Business and finally Donahey Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

His professional career officially ended when he retired from the University of Arkansas in 1988. Unofficially, Boyd continued teaching as a volunteer and led the university's Business Forum, a lecture series that brought nationally known speakers to Little Rock. Over his lifetime, he was the author, co-author or editor of at least 50 books and more than 100 articles, an editor of the Journal of Marketing Research and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Marketing.

"Harper Boyd was a giant in the field of marketing education and also in the lives of the many people he touched," said Michael Ray, who is the John G. McCoy-Banc One Corporation Professor of Creativity and Innovation and of Marketing, emeritus, at Stanford Business School.

"When I first experienced him in a classroom at Northwestern nearly 40 years ago, my first thought was that he made the other professors I had at the time seem inadequate. Later, when I became his colleague here, I was overwhelmed by his energy. He was someone, we used to say, who had more ideas than anyone we knew. But more important, he implemented a surprising proportion of them.

"He accomplished so much that no article can capture his life," added Ray. "For instance, several years ago he was the Arkansas tennis champion in his age bracket. And he continued to write and publish books in areas of his interest, working often with students he had here and elsewhere."

Ray noted that after the death of Boyd's young son, Harper Dabney, in 1956, "he dedicated himself to students for the rest of his life, which may explain his sometimes disconcerting combination of demanding and caring. Harper made a profound difference in so many lives, and he did all this with a particular grace that was his alone. He will be both missed and remembered by many with love and gratitude."

Boyd, who had residences in Naples and Little Rock, is survived by his wife, Virginia; two daughters, Cinda Boyd-Farah of Boston and Sarah Boyd-Nawrot of Berlin, Germany; and four grandchildren. Memorial contributions should be sent to the Harper Dabney Boyd Scholarship Fund, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Office of Development, 2801 South University, Little Rock, AR 72204. SR