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Liberty mourns death of its Provost Emeritus, Dr. Boyd C. Rist

Liberty University Provost Emeritus Dr. Boyd C. RistProvost Emeritus Dr. Boyd C. Rist, who served Liberty University for 40 years, died Sunday, Sept. 14, at the age of 68.

Rist was an anchor in the academics of Liberty for much of his adult life. He joined the university in 1973. He has served as a distinguished professor of history, Chair of the division of Social Sciences, Associate Dean and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Provost. In November 2010, he was named Provost Emeritus and was appointed to the position of Senior Academic Consultant to the Provost. He retired from full-time employment at the university at the end of the 2012-13 academic year and was honored by the university at its annual Years of Service Banquet last July.

“Boyd Rist was my history professor at Liberty in the early 1980s. His classes challenged me academically and were pivotal in preparing me for law school,” said President Jerry Falwell. “Not only was Boyd Rist an excellent professor and later a personal friend, but he also played a key role as Provost in shaping Liberty into a world-class university. He will be greatly missed. On behalf of his Liberty family, I offer our condolences and prayers during this difficult time.”

Rist earned his B.A. at the University of South Dakota, his M.A. at the University of Minnesota, and his Ph.D. in history at the University of Virginia. He has been affiliated with the American Conference of Academic Deans, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society of Historians of the Early Republic. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Eta Sigma national honor societies.

Rist served as both a member of and chair of the Accreditation Commission of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. For several years, he was also Liberty University’s liaison to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Rist is survived by his wife, Norma Jean, and daughter, Emily Ruth.

A visitation will be held at noon on Friday in Pate Chapel at Thomas Road Baptist Church, followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m.

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