Rozelle Boyd


IUPUI Chancellor's Medallion (2009)
IUPUI Chancellor's Medallion
Location: Indianapolis


Rozelle Boyd is a longtime elected official who has the historic distinction of being the first African-American elected to the Indianapolis City-County Council. He also served briefly as president of the City-County Council, the first African-American and Democrat to hold the position.

Mr. Boyd was born in a still-segregated Indianapolis and attended George Washington Carver School 87 and Crispus Attucks High School. After briefly attending Indiana Central College he transferred to Butler to study political science and history. Despite his political science degree, Mr. Boyd says he never wanted to be a politician.

Instead, he returned to Crispus Attucks as a U.S. history teacher and a counselor in the adult education program. Mr. Boyd recalls one of his proudest moments as the day his mother graduated from the adult education program, with her son as her counselor and one of her instructors.

While at Attucks Mr. Boyd was encouraged by the Marion County Democrats to run for the county council. At the time, the county system was separated from the city system. Boyd agreed, beginning a distinguished political career.

After 11 years at Attucks Mr. Boyd accepted a position as assistant dean at Indiana University, Bloomington. He remained on staff as assistant dean and eventually added the duties of founder-director of the Groups Special Services Program, a program designed to help students who, for a variety of reasons, might not be able to have the typical college experience.

As a public servant he devoted more than 42 years of service, helping to usher in astonishing changes for the city. He was the longest-serving member of the council, its elder statesman. Eloquent, dignified and low-key civility is one Mr. Boyd's core leadership values.

He serves on a number of community and civic boards and has received many awards and honors. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.