On April 5, 2011 Mount Mercy University welcomed Willard L. Boyd, S.J.D. who spoke on "The Role of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations in the United States"
Boyd is the Rawlings-Miller Professor of Law at the University of Iowa and President Emeritus of The University of Iowa and The Field Museum of Chicago. Boyd focuses on the role of nonprofits in Iowa and the United States. He is one of the founders of the Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center. The Center is a university-wide interdisciplinary program involving departments and faculties from across the University who are interested in and engaged with nonprofit organizations. He teaches courses on the legal and operational aspects of nonprofit organizations.
Boyd received his B.S.L and LL.B. degrees from the University of Minnesota and his LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Law Institute, the Department of State Cultural Property Advisory Committee and the board of National Arts Strategies and chairs the Iowa Cultural Trust.
He has served as Chairman of the American Association of Universities, Chairman of the National Museum Services Board, Chairman of the Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the American Bar Association, Chairman of the Center for Research Libraries, (Chicago), Chair of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, Chair of the Governor's Task Force on the Role of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations in Iowa, Chair of Iowa 2000 (1972-78) and Chair of Imagine Iowa (2001), President of the National Commission on Accrediting, as a member of the National Council on the Arts, the Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Opera, the Advisory Committee for the Getty Education Institute for the Arts, and the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts, Elderhostel, Illinois Arts and Humanities Councils, the Advisory Board Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Humanities Iowa.
Boyd was one of the first winners of the Charles Frankel Prize awarded in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Humanities, honoring five Americans for their efforts to bring history, literature, philosophy and other humanities disciplines to general audiences. In 1996 he was selected as a Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and received The Thomas & Eleanor Wright Award given by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations for individuals whose human relations efforts and activities have spanned all interest lines and for making The Field Museum a place where people of different backgrounds come together for a common reason. The Field Museum received the National Award for Museum Service in 1996 from the Institute of Museum Services. Boyd was the 1998 winner of the Award for Lifetime Services to the Public Humanities given by Humanities Iowa, the State Humanities Council, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.
In 2009, Michael Donovan was Mount Mercy's inaugural Presidential Lecture speaker. Donovan’s speech, titled “Do you have Faith in Law? Why the Fate of Our Laws is Up to You.”
A Cedar Rapids native, Donovan is the son of former Mount Mercy Board of Trustee member Thomas Donovan. He currently serves as an assistant United States attorney with the Department of Justice in Chicago. Donovan is tasked with investigating and prosecuting criminal cases, including major narcotics distribution organizations, street gangs and cartels, white collar fraud, public corruption, and child exploitation. He is a graduate of the the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University School of Law.