Remembering Anne Ponder Boyd ’61

The Mary Baldwin community is saddened to announce the loss of former Board of Trustees member and dedicated lifelong supporter Anne Ponder Boyd ’61. She passed away peacefully in her Dallas home on August 14.

Anne Ponder Boyd studied chemistry at MBU and graduated in 1961. She was a dedicated lifelong supporter of the university.

Boyd grew up in El Paso, Texas, and graduated from Mary Baldwin  with a degree in chemistry. She went on to serve as chair for the university’s first board of visitors from 1970 – 1980, and on the Board of Trustees from 1979 – 1990. During that time she held a variety of leadership roles, including chairing the Development Committee, Nominating Committee, Executive Committee, and the New Dimensions II advancement campaign. She was also instrumental in helping to pave the way for the establishment of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership.  

Mary Baldwin officially recognized Boyd’s unflagging devotion to her alma mater during Homecoming 2016, presenting her with an Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award — which honors alumni who have gone above and beyond in both their daily lives and in service to MBU. 

Boyd was a cattle rancher by primary profession, co-owning and managing the Kennedy Ponder Ranch with other family members. She also loved the written word, and founded the celebrated literary publishing company, Pressworks, to promote award-winning Texas authors and the Texana genre in general. Her passion for astronomy led to a visiting professorship at the University of Texas.     

Community service and advocacy around women’s rights issues were major hallmarks of Boyd’s life. Highlights include serving as community vice president for the League of Women Voters, founding president for the Texas Women’s Foundation in Austin, president of the Women’s Foundation of Texas, member of the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council, board member for West Dallas Community Centers, founding member of the Texas Publishers Association, and more.

In a statement, family members eulogized Boyd as “the life of any party, a teller of taste-free jokes, lover of laughter, … good samaritan, naturalist, and staunch women’s rights advocate.” 

She is survived by her husband of 17 years, Dr. Charles Boyd, two adult children, and four grandchildren.