Alexander Boyd, a sophomore at Florida A&M University who was a Tallahassee native, drowned on Saturday at Miramar Beach while on an annual trip with his scholarship housemates.
The 20-year-old was an architecture major who graduated from Rickards High School in the spring of 2021. Gabrielle Jackson, a former English teacher of Boyd, remembers him as a kind and respectful soul.
“ … always showed respect and wanted to do his best in English, he was a part of my [English Honors] classes.” The student was a second-year recipient of the Southern Scholarship Foundation honors, allowing him to reside at the SSF’s Knight Scholarship house at FAMU, free of charge.
The South Walton Fire department reports that Boyd and two others were around 150 feet from shore when a report that someone had been swept underwater was reported. SWFD’s Advanced Life Support team and two additional lifeguards led a 12-minute-long search for Boyd, which eventually resulted in the recovery of his body.
Elijah Alston, a Port St. Lucie native and junior at FAMU, was one of the distressed swimmers with Boyd, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. “I was very nervous and was panicking while everything was going on because I didn’t know what was happening out there in the water,” said Alston.
As Florida A&M University continues to mourn the loss of Boyd, the university released a statement Tuesday afternoon stating, “President Robinson, students, faculty, and staff offer their deepest condolences to his parents, relatives, friends, and classmates during this difficult time.”
The Southern Scholarship Foundation has since created the Alexander Boyd Memorial Fund to raise funds for the Boyd Family.