Ashby D. Boyle II
Ashby D. Boyle II is a Latter-day Saint (“Mormon”) scholar, lawyer, and president of George Wythe University, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Boyle received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, MA and JD degrees from Columbia, and an MPhil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. Boyle also studied religion at Yale University and received graduate degrees from the university’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In his professional life, Boyle taught religious ethics and social ethics at Yale University, served as an advisor to President Gerald Ford, as a law clerk to Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States Supreme Court, and practiced law in Washington, D.C. Currently, Boyle is a practicing attorney in both New York and Utah, is CEO of the American Religious Liberties Union, and is a member of the Alumni Schools Committee for Yale University in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, in addition to serving as president of George Wythe University .
George Wythe University
George Wythe (pronounced “with”) University is a liberal arts university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The university takes its name from scholar George Wythe, who trained and tutored many of the United States’ founding fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Wythe was a signer of the Constitution, contributed to the development of the Bill of Rights, and was one of the first to teach law in schools. GWU has adopted the principles and methods of Wythe in its curriculum and educational approach, focusing its instruction styles around the Socratic seminar and Oxford tutorial models . GWU is committed to turning out graduates who, as is stated on their website, have learned “the hard won habits of how to think, why liberty is essential, and to grapple with the most vital questions of life . . . laying the foundation for a rich, satisfying life of contribution, service, and leadership” .
Boyle’s Message to the University
As president of the university, Boyle also embraces GWU’s mission and purpose. In a message to the university community on August 1, 2013, Boyle highlighted the importance of liberal education, the increasing secularization of America, and the citizens’ responsibility to act and preserve their religious freedom. He stated:
- We need to fight theory with theory, ideas with ideas. But where? Both in the preparation of new attorneys and judges for the courts, and within the culture. After all, all power ultimately rests with the people, even whether to preserve the Constitution at all. This is, in fact, doable. The battlefronts for the hearts and minds of our society, including our courts, need not be surrendered forever .
Boyle also said that this philosophical battle for preservation of the Constitution and religious freedoms in America is one reason why he took the position as president of George Wythe University. Referring to the University’s curriculum, he said:
- It combines the best of the classical Great Books programs of many institutions like St. John’s and Thomas Aquinas College, as well as many of my classes at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Cambridge—and add the real world application of extraordinary simulations and internships. Keeping one’s moral compass attuned as well, this is a potent combination. .
Read the full text of Boyle’s message here.
Witness of Jesus Christ
Not only does Boyle clearly feel strongly about the United States Constitution and religious freedom, but he is also an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which church is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “Mormon Church.” In 2010, Boyle was invited to share his witness of Jesus Christ on the site Mormon Scholars Testify, which highlights prominent Latter-day Saint scholars and their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Boyle shared with readers an experience when he received a witness of Jesus Christ, and knew that Christ was his Savior. Of that witness, Boyle wrote:
- The witness of the Spirit . . . has given me certain knowledge of faith. It has served to keep my head above the waves when I was ten thousand leagues at sea without any life preserver. Those times in my life when all has not only seemed lost but, actually, really, was lost. Sometimes the only thought I could pull myself together to even think was that Jesus is my Savior .
Ashby Boyle’s witness of the Savior, as well as his substantial body of educational and professional experience, will be invaluable as he leads George Wythe University and its students to greater levels of academic and professional achievement and personal integrity.