In Memoriam

M. Boyd Jones (1909-2008)

M. Boyd Jones, a civil rights leader and a long-time professor at Norfolk State University, died late last month in Virginia Beach. He was 98 years old.

A native Virginian, Dr. Jones graduated from Hampton University and went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

He began his career as a teacher in Virginia’s segregated public schools and rose to the rank of principal at the all-black Robert R. Moton High School in Farmville. In 1951 black students at the school walked out in protest of the conditions at the school, which was vastly inferior to nearby white schools. Boyd supported his students, and as a result lost his job.

Virtually barred from teaching in Virginia, Boyd took a position on the faculty at Alabama State University. More than a decade later, in 1963, he returned to Virginia to teach mathematics at Norfolk State University. He remained on the faculty there until his retirement in 1980.

In 2007 a scholarship fund in Dr. Boyd’s name was established at Norfolk State to benefit students in mathematics and the sciences.