‘No better gift’: Donors create family legacy with endowed Camp scholarships

Ken and Carol Boyd honor their children—Academy alumnus Douglas and Camp instructor Kate—while increasing access to the Interlochen experience.

Ken and Carol Boyd with scholarship recipients Martin M. and Christopher J.

Ken (far left) and Carol Boyd (far right) with scholarship recipients Martin M. (second from left) and Christopher J. (second from right).

Towards the end of his second summer at the National Music Camp, Douglas Boyd (IAC/NMC 81-82, IAA 82-84, IAC St 85) called his parents, Ken and Carol, to let them know he wouldn’t be coming home.

“He said, ‘I’m not leaving. I’m going to go to the Academy, and I’m going to stay here for the rest of high school,’” Ken recalls.

Douglas, a cellist, spent the next two years at Interlochen Arts Academy, studying with legendary Instructor of Cello Crispin Campbell and performing with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.

“To this very day—he's 56 years old now—he still says that coming to the Academy was the best decision that he ever made in his life,” Ken says. “It gave him an opportunity to experience the atmosphere, the challenge, and the friendships—all of those things that are part of the Interlochen experience. I think that did more than anything to guide him into his adulthood.”

Douglas received a master’s degree in music composition from the University of Massachusetts before embarking on an eight-year career in the cruise industry. The artistry, interpersonal skills, global perspective instilled by his Interlochen experience enabled Douglas to excel as first a musician and later, a cruise director.

“At Interlochen, Douglas was exposed to different kinds of kids from different parts of the world,” Ken says. “Because of that exposure, he doesn’t see people in the way most other people see people.”

Following his time at sea, Douglas settled in New South Wales, Australia, where he now works at an analytics consultancy. Despite residing more than 9,000 miles from his native Illinois, Douglas has thrived in his new home.

“The Interlochen experience enabled him to be able to move into a totally different environment, become successful there, and enjoy himself,” Carol says. “He saw that he didn't have to come back to Illinois—the world was open to him.”

Douglas’s transformative time at Interlochen inspired a lifelong love for the organization shared by the entire Boyd family. His sister, Kate (IAC Fac 11-16, 18-22), served as an instructor of piano and coordinator of the piano program at Interlochen Arts Camp for more than a decade, and Ken and Carol regularly return to campus for concerts and events.

A few summers ago, Ken visited Interlochen’s Philanthropy office and learned about endowed scholarships.

“When we started talking to Interlochen’s philanthropy team, we realized that our giving didn't have to occur all at one time: we could do it over a period of years,” Ken says. “We realized that we had the resources to do that. It just fit together for us.”

Ken and Carol established two endowed scholarships—the Douglas Boyd Endowed Camp Scholarship in Strings and the Kate Boyd Endowed Scholarship in Piano—named in honor of their two children. The scholarships serve not only as a means of supporting the next generation of young artists, but also as a lasting legacy for Douglas and Kate.

“We can't think of a better gift to leave our children than a scholarship in their name,” Ken says. “You can leave the money in your estate, but what does it mean in the long run? If you just leave your children the money, they’ll spend it, and it’s gone. Through these scholarships, we can honor our kids in a way that will be recognized for a long time.”

“By giving scholarships, we have given our children a gift that is unique,” Carol says. “They’ve had this experience at Interlochen, and now they’re helping, through us, to make it possible for other people to have this wonderful experience.”

Last summer, Ken and Carol had the opportunity to meet the two students who received their scholarships: World Youth Symphony Orchestra violist Christopher and intermediate piano student Martin.

“It was heartwarming for us to see our scholarships in action,” Ken says. “It really proved to us that the scholarships are being used the way we intended.”

The Boyds’ scholarships help support Interlochen’s goal of achieving greater diversity and meeting the full demonstrated need of every admitted student by Interlochen’s centennial—one of the pillars of Vision 2028.

“We need to keep adding to the scholarships and the financial aid to enable more young people to be able to take advantage of Interlochen’s programs,” Carol says.

Ultimately, Ken and Carol hope that their story will inspire others to give—regardless of their financial circumstances.

“When you see the list of the big donors, you say, ‘Oh, we can't fit in that group. It would be nice, but we can't do that,’” Ken says. “But over time, one can make a significant gift."

For more information about endowed scholarships, contact Philanthropy Office staff at 231.276.7623 or philanthropy@interlochen.org, or visit our website.