Shortly after Morehouse College crowned another Rhodes Scholar, Da’Von Boyd, a junior political science major from Chesapeake, Virginia was selected as one of twenty Beinecke Scholars. The Beinecke Scholarship is a financial award from the Sperry Fund given to the nation’s top juniors from various undergraduate schools to provide additional funding for graduate schools. He is notably the only student from an HBCU to receive the award. In addition, he is the third Beinecke scholar from Morehouse and is the second to have been selected in two years (him along with last year’s recipient, Rami Blair). When asked about his reaction after receiving the news, Da’Von explained that he “screamed and leapt for joy”. This is another staple in what has been a successful year for Mr. Boyd. Along with serving as president of Morehouse College’s Honors Program Student Association, he is also Captain of the nationally renowned Morehouse College Debate Team, where he spends most of his time arguing with some of Morehouse’s best students. He calls it a “hobby that seems like a job”, but finds it to be one of the most gratifying experiences he has had the privilege to participate in at Morehouse. While he is not interested in using his debate skills to enter politics or law, he hopes to use his argumentation and oratory to inspire his students.
Da’Von’s passion for students and learning has granted him support from the UNCF/Mellon Mays Fellowship, a fellowship that helps prepare undergraduate students for graduate school and eventually the professoriate. His selected field of study is political theory—Da’Von calls it a “humanity within a social science"—which he plans to investigate the works of theorists like John Rawls and John Locke, and eventually formulate his own theories as it relates to the political life of people of color. He articulated that “the muted voices of Black writers provide unique interpretations of political life”; thus, he felt “obligated to investigate and invest in that theoretical paradigm”. When asked why he wanted to be a political philosopher as compared to a political scientist, Da’Von remarked that “…within the discipline, the emphasis on quantitative analysis tends to obscure the continuing importance of humanistic and normative reflection on political life. I truly believe that we need to continue to think about values and the formation thereof, questioning what kind of society we want to live in. Our political moment requires such, as did moments in the past. Normative work is essential for this very purpose”.
Da’Von certainly is representing Morehouse well in the academy and is effectively using the skillset that he has acquired here, to transform it.