Joyce Boykin '68

Walking though the wisteria lined tunnel as I was holding my mother’s hand, is my initial memory of the Anna Head Campus. That day I was going for testing.  The next time this journey occurred was the first day of school as a first grader: it was the fall of 1956.  That day I was nervous. Mom dropped me off with children and an older white haired lady (Mrs Campbell) none of whom I knew, except for another student who had attended kindergarten with me. I was disappointed that no one looked like me.

The first and second grade classroom (complete withour own private bathroom) was in a structure detached from the main campus, west of the Channing Building, tennis courts,  and rose garden. This building also housed the chemistry classroom and lab, and Mrs. Liechti’s piano room on the first floor. There was an apartment on the 2nd floor where a different teacher would live, followed by another teacher at another time.To get to the main campus, the quad and beyond,  we would partner up and hold hands led by Mrs. Campbell and travel up a covered walkway, which ran along  the north side of the chapel.

After 2nd grade you were integrated onto the main campus with a classroom off the quad: wow how I took that for granted.  Now after the bell rang around 10:40AM you and the rest of the student body dashed toward tables set up around the quad to have a snack of juice or hot chocolate with Ritz crackers, graham crackers, fig newtons, or my favorite, chocolate Oreos. Ten minutes later the bell rang for the return to class, which was less enthusiastic.

When I started  4th grade the 2nd African American student had enrolled in the first grade, and another became a student when I was in 5th grade. Each time I went home and announced:  “There is another colored girl at school." (“Colored” was a term to refer to African American people in that era.)

My twelve years at Anna Head included a fantastic education which prepared me well for college and graduate schools and exposed me  to language, French  and Latin, and the arts, especially music.  I am grateful to the Deweys for opening the door for racial diversity at Anna Head.


Joyce Boykin, M.D. enjoyed practicing 30 years of General Internal Medicine, and recently participated on the Head Royce Alumni Constituency of the Inclusion and Equity Council. She is a proud Lifer!