Thursday, December 24, 2015

Kappa Sigma Bio: John Covert Boyd

The fourth of the Kappa Sigma founders was John Covert Boyd. The son of William Simms Boyd and Laura Nelson Covert, he was born on December 24, 1850, near Bradford Springs, South Carolina.

Boyd attended the University of Virginia from 1869 to 1871, during the fall semester he was a founder of the Kappa Sigma fraternity where he served as Grand Scribe. In the second year at UVA, Boyd followed in the footsteps of his father and entered into the medical program, but the next year transferred to the University of the City of New York. After attaining his Doctorate in Medicine in 1872, he became a surgeon and, later, medical director of the United States Navy Medical Corps.

In 1887, he married Katherine Dorr Willard who gave him a daughter, Alice, and a son, Walter (who would go on to join Kappa Sigma).

His naval career also included serving as Assistant to the Chief of the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and representative to the Association of Military Surgeons of the United StatesIn 1902 he became a professor for the Navy Medical College and also took charge of writing the book of instruction for medical officers. In 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt appointed him to the Board of Incorporators and Executive Committee of the American Red Cross.

He was also a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United State, member of the American Medical Association, member of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, member of the Archaeological Institution of America, and an honorary member of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia

John Covert Boyd died on July 7, 1927, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


1. Five Friends and Brothers. (n.d.).

2. John Covert Boyd. (n.d.).

3. The Five Founders. (n.d.).

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