Biographical or Historical Information
Dr. Paul L. Boynton was born on July 24, 1898 in Llano, Texas. He went on to graduate from Benton High School in Benton, Texas in 1916. Boynton would earn a B.A. from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1920, and then received a M.A. and Ph.D. from Peabody College, in 1923 and 1927. Dr. Boynton began his career working at the secondary education level where he spent time as a principal, teacher and coach. From there he moved on to the college level starting off as a Summer Instructor at Appalachian State University, then working at the University of Kentucky as an Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Acting Department Head all in the Psychology Department. His final stop before coming to SFASU was to go back to Peabody College to serve as Professor and Head of Department of Psychology.
Dr. Boynton was named the second President of Stephen F. Austin State College on May 15, 1942 by the State Board of Regents and was inaugurated on November 7, 1942. His tenure as President was fraught with difficulties as it covered two wars (World War II and the Korean War). Dr. Boynton was able to preserve SFASC with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps) which help sustain the college during World War II as enrollment had dropped due to the war effort. He also secured a U.S. Forestry Service farm that in becomes the Forestry Department. After World War II ended SFASC saw a growth in the enrollment as veterans looked to exercise their GI Bill. The boom in enrollment was short lived as the Korean War broke out and men and women moved to meet the call of war. The end of war saw another increase in enrollment and the need for the campus to expand. Temporary post war buildings were built for Music, Forestry, Administration, and Home Management. Funding was also procured and Memorial Stadium was built. During Boynton’s tenure construction of Shelton Gym, Mays Hall, the Birdwell Building, and Boynton Hall were completed. Dr. Boynton also saw the construction of a new Presidential Home and the Groundbreaking for the Fine Arts Building.Note written by Greg Bailey