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Carson-Newman presents Founders’ Medallion to beloved professor

Dr. Patsy Boyce, retired Carson-Newman University professor of biology, receives a standing ovation after receiving the institution’s Founders’ Medallion from C-N President Charles A. Fowler.

Carson-Newman University honored Dr. Patsy Boyce with its 2022 Founders’ Medallion on Thursday, Nov. 3. Presented during its annual Founders’ Day Ceremony, the award is one of the most prestigious accolades given by the University.

“What a blessing to celebrate Dr. Patsy Boyce as a university family,” said University President Charles A. Fowler. “Her devotion to excellence and to inspiring students to thrive is amazing. The testimonies of countless students whose hearts and minds were shaped in a significant way by Dr. Boyce remind you of the value of a distinctively Christian education offered through Carson-Newman. Every day alumni serving across the world in areas of healthcare are changing lives and each person they serve represent an extension of Dr. Boyce’s legacy,” he said. “Throughout her years of service, she tirelessly sought ways to make Carson-Newman and her community better places – and she has.”

Retired C-N Nursing Professor Sue McBee was joined by C-N biology colleague Dr. Stephen Karr, and former Boyce student and current C-N Board of Trustees member, Dr. Donald Parker, who each gave tribute to the honoree.

“During my tenure at Carson-Newman, Dr. Boyce accompanied me on 25-plus medical mission trips to Belize, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti,” said McBee to those gathered. “I’ve met few people in my life as intelligent, caring, compassionate and humble as Patsy Boyce.”

Sue McBee

McBee recalled a particular mission trip when at the end of an emotionally hard day, Boyce led the group in a devotion. “She noted that as we experience life, we learn that God blesses us with new beginnings every day,” McBee said. “Through these new beginnings (Patsy) noted (that) He gives us the opportunity to move from sometimes being selfish – to selfless. From sometimes being self-centered – to being more concerned of others. To be thankful for His blessings, and in turn – use our blessings to serve others.”

A native of Burnsville, North Carolina, Boyce served as professor of biology until she retired from C-N in 2020 after 32 years of service. She joined the Carson-Newman faculty in 1988, following teaching posts at Walters State Community College, the University of Tennessee and Berea College.

During her early C-N tenure, she helped the school establish a gross anatomy lab, a rare feature for an institution of C-N’s size. The energy she brought to the classroom was contagious and her students learned that though biology could be challenging, it could also be fun and exciting. She also advised Tri-Beta and helped advise C-N’s Mortar Board.

Her classroom excellence and dedication to students and C-N has been previously noted with Carson-Newman’s Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award, the Academic Advising Award, Community Service Award, the R.R. Turner Spirit of Carson-Newman Award and her selection as Distinguished Professor in 2000.

The author of many publications, Boyce earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Berea College in 1974.  She continued her education at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, earning the master’s degree in zoology and her doctorate in reproductive and developmental physiology.

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