Board of Trustees chair honored as volunteer of year

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Don Boyce

Just out of high school in 1955, Don Boyce didn’t waste time. He enrolled in a 50-week course at Bryant & Stratton College in Buffalo, N.Y., married his high school sweetheart, Jeris, in 1956 and a week later started a $76-per-week accounting job at Sylvania Electric Products. He hasn’t slowed down since.

As Boyce’s career progressed, he recognized that a bachelor’s degree would be essential for further advancement. He enrolled first at the University at Buffalo in 1957 and then in RIT’s continuing education program, taking two or three courses at a time, commuting nightly from tiny Oakfield, N.Y., to the downtown Rochester campus—often through perilous winter weather. Now, four decades later, Boyce ’67 (business administration) serves as chair of the RIT Board of Trustees.

He will receive the Volunteer of the Year Award during Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend at the Presidents’ Alumni Ball on Oct. 19. The award is presented to an individual who exhibits exceptional dedication to the RIT community by being active and involved in the university.

Boyce worked for more than 30 years, 14 as CEO, with IDEX, a diversified manufacturing firm known for producing the “Jaws of Life” rescue equipment. He has been a board member of numerous publicly traded companies and shared his time with nonprofit organizations in his community, including Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Humboldt Park Social Services, United Methodist Clergy Fund—Chicago, Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, Oakfield-Alabama Central School Board of Education, and his church.

He notes that the skills of a successful volunteer are the same as those required for a successful life: listen, gain consensus— then act.