Don R. Boyd was born October 15, 1934, in Tyler, Texas. In 1953, he left for Texas A&M to study geology, but returned to Tyler after only one semester upon learning that his father had inoperable cancer. While in Tyler, he took courses in geology at Tyler Junior College. In 1955, he enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin, motivated in part by the fact that his high school sweetheart, Patricia Kidd, was in school there. They were married during his last semester. They remained together, a loving and devoted couple, until his death.
He received a B.S. degree in geology in 1958. Don was ready to go to work for Stanolind, but the offer fell through as a result of the merger of Stanolind and Pan American. He adapted by entering graduate school at Louisiana State University where he worked on an M.S. degree under Dr. Grover Murray, receiving it in 1959.
In 1989 Don received Honorary Membership in AAPG and his good friend Dr. Bill Fisher of the University of Texas wrote in his citation:
“Don Boyd is one of those unique and uncommon people who has excelled in a number of areas. He is a fundamental, published scientist, a successful finder of oil and gas, a respected businessman, and a working rancher. His broad success and effectiveness stem from a perceptive and discerning mind, a substantial volume of energy willingly spent, and, I think foremost, a consummate dedication to the institutions about him – family, church, business, profession, community, and the universities that trained him.”
In 1959, Don joined Pan American in Corpus Christi, a city that was to be his base of operations for his entire career. He was the personification of a Gulf Coast geologist He held just about every office and won most all the awards given by the professional societies in which he was active – Corpus Christi Geological Society, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Don's many friends provided funding to support this grant and to establish the Don R. Boyd Medal for Excellence in Gulf Coast Geology, which is to be the highest award given by the GCAGS.
The Don R. Boyd Memorial Grant is given annually to a deserving graduate student who is studying in a school within the boundaries of GCAGS (the Gulf Coast Section of AAPG). Funding comes from an American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation endowment established with numerous contributions from friends and colleagues.