Sue Marston Boyd ’68 knows music inside and out.
There is another thing that Boyd knows very well—Shenandoah University. Boyd has been a student, performer and teacher in Shenandoah Conservatory. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from SU in 1968, has performed in hundreds of recitals and programs on campus, and was a member of the piano faculty for over 35 years.
Boyd now serves on the Alumni Board of Directors.
The fact that I was a student for four years and a member of the faculty for 37 years motivates me to stay involved with the university,” said Boyd. “More than half of my life was spent at the university.”
Boyd began studying piano in the second grade, where she performed in recitals and later served as pianist at school events and at church. At this young age, she knew she wanted to continue with music at a higher level. After graduating from Shenandoah she earned her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Catholic University.
Boyd dedicated her entire teaching career to the undergraduate students at Shenandoah, beginning in 1970. In 1998, she was the recipient of the Exemplary Teacher Award, which is recommended by faculty, students and administrators. In 2007, after an outstanding career, Boyd retired with the title Professor Emeritas, granted to her by the university.
Throughout my 37 years of teaching at Shenandoah Conservatory, I had the opportunity to work with very talented and rewarding students,” she said. “I was also blessed by having strong, artistic colleagues to collaborate with in performances.”
With all of this success and knowledge in music, Boyd is very thankful. She says that she was well prepared as a performer after her undergraduate studies at SU, not to mention academically prepared as well. Boyd credits much of her success in teaching and performing to her own piano teacher at Shenandoah, Henry Black.
“He was so concerned with my growth as a student and was always so supportive,” she said. “He took you in as a part of himself; gave you encouragement and the feeling that you could excel.”
Even after her retirement, Boyd could not stay away! In her first year after leaving, she served on the university’s E.U.B Archives Committee. In fall 2010, Boyd participated in the Alumni Choir Reunion weekend as hostess and was one of the pianists for the first ever Alumni Chorus Concert. She was the pianist for the spring 2011 Dayton Alumni Memorial Service. You may still see Boyd on campus as she is an active pianist for faculty and graduate student recitals and still teaches through the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy.
Along with still having a small role at the Conservatory, Boyd has taken on a new task in serving on the Alumni Board of Directors. She feels that the university is lacking a response from many of the alumni from the 1960s and 1970s and believes that this group of people is important because they were the first to graduate with a four year degree from Shenandoah.
“We need to get them back on campus, share memories and show them what great accomplishments continue to happen on campus with their alma mater.”