FSU honors Congressman Allen Boyd with Circle of Gold Award

Circle of Gold winner Allen Boyd with FSU
President T.K. Wetherell, left, and Alumni
Association Chairman Ron Richmond. (photo:
Ryals Lee, FSU Photo Lab)

In addition to being one of Florida State University’s most prominent alumni, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd Jr. long has been an advocate for scientific research. Among numerous other research projects that Boyd has been instrumental in establishing during his tenure in Congress is the Southeast Climate Consortium, which has developed new methods to predict the consequences of climate variability for agricultural crops, forests and water resources in the southeastern United States.

With Boyd’s help, the consortium, which includes FSU, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, the University of Georgia, Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Huntsville, has received $11.25 million in federal funding over the past four years, and Boyd has requested additional funding for the next budget period.

Today, Boyd was honored by his alma mater for all of his efforts on its behalf when the FSU Alumni Association presented him with its Circle of Gold Award, given to "worthy individuals who, through their service and achievements, personify the university’s tradition of excellence."

The award came as a surprise to Boyd, who had just finished a tour of FSU’s Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS) in Tallahassee’s Innovation Park. Both FSU officials and Boyd’s own staff had kept him in the dark until the end of the tour, when he found himself the special guest at a luncheon and award ceremony thrown in his honor.

"I am so honored to receive this prestigious award from my alma mater," Boyd said. "Florida State University is such a significant part of our community and our state. FSU enables our students to realize their goals and ambitions, as well as being home to some of the highest-quality research in the nation. I am proud to continue to do all I can to support FSU and the important work that they do.

"I also want to say a special thanks to my friend, President T.K. Wetherell, for his dedication to the students and the faculty at FSU," Boyd said. "T.K. is a prime example of what a university president should be, and I thank him for his service and support throughout the years."

Boyd, a Monticello resident and fifth-generation farmer, earned his bachelor’s degree in business from FSU in 1969. He has represented Florida’s 2nd Congressional District for 10 years; before that, he served in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years. Throughout his career in public service, Boyd has led the charge for government reform and fiscal responsibility. He also is known as an articulate voice for consensus building and reasonable compromise.

CAPS was established at FSU in 2000 as a hub of research and educational activities promoting the development of advanced electrical power systems for the U.S. Navy. It also performs research that is critical to improving the safety, reliability and efficiency of the nation’s electric power infrastructure. Since its inception, Boyd has been a strong supporter of CAPS in Congress.

"Modernizing our nation’s power grid is a major key to U.S. competitiveness and security over the next century," said Kirby W. Kemper, FSU’s vice president for Research. "The research taking place here at CAPS is leading to breakthroughs in superconductivity, transmission reliability and cybersecurity. And none of it would be possible without the diligence and support of Congressman Boyd."

Barry Adams, the president of FSU’s Alumni Association, described Boyd as "one of the university’s most accomplished alumni and one of its best friends.

"For years, Allen Boyd has been a tireless advocate for greater science funding for America’s universities, and most especially for Florida State," Adams said. "Without him, many of the research programs we see here in Innovation Park and on the main FSU campus simply wouldn’t exist. Our university, our state and our nation are stronger and better prepared for the future thanks to the exemplary public service provided by Rep. Boyd."

To learn more about the Center for Advanced Power Systems, visit www.caps.fsu.edu.