Stephen F. Austin State University

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Boynton marker to be dedicated at SFA

January 22, 2009 - Amy Roquemore

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A historical marker honoring the contributions of Dr. Paul Lewis Boynton to Stephen F. Austin State University will be unveiled this week.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the Founders Plaza between the Austin and Rusk Buildings on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. The public is invited to attend the event, which is being held in conjunction with the university's Board of Regents meeting and is part of SFA's yearlong 85th-anniversary celebration.

Boynton served as president from 1942 to 1958. He is remembered for his ingenuity in keeping the school open during World War II and for laying the groundwork for the college's ascension to university status. He also raised the professional qualifications of the faculty. When war made some federal operations in the area obsolete, Boynton secured buildings and farm property, which eventually led to the opening of a department of forestry in 1945.

"During his early tenure, Boynton kept the college from closing and made substantive contributions to the way Texas responded to the war effort," according to Dr. Jere Jackson, university historian and director of the Center for East Texas Studies. "During Boynton's last decade, he demonstrated amazing resourcefulness and devotion to duty by laying the foundations for SFA's transformation to university status."

The Boynton marker is the 12th historical marker to be placed on the SFA campus. Another marks the college's original location on Washington Square near downtown Nacogdoches. There are plans to place three additional markers on campus in 2009 in conjunction with SFA's 85th anniversary. The first will recognize early facilities including Birdwell Field, Aikman Gym and the Women's Recreation Center. The second will update the marker for the Old Stone Fort, and the third will be dedicated to the Stone Fort Museum, which is now 73 years old.