William Keylor, Professor of International Relations and History at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, was honored at the school’s Convocation ceremony on May 19, 2018 for his distinguished career and numerous contributions to the field of international relations as well as to the Pardee School, its students, faculty and staff.
Dean Adil Najam thanked Keylor for the pivotal and formative roles he played in the development of the Pardee School, and on the recommendation of the faculty conferred on him the status of Professor Emeritus at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. Najam also presented Keylor with a commemorative gift on behalf of the Pardee School.
Najam also announced at Convocation that to honor Keylor’s many contributions to Boston University and to the Pardee School, especially to undergraduate education, a special fund has been established – with an initial contribution from Pardee School Dean’s Advisory Board member Karen Ansara – to support international travel for research by Pardee School undergraduates.
Several Pardee School faculty members have already contributed to the Keylor Undergraduate Travel Fund and others are invited to join them in doing so. Gifts to the Keylor Fund can be made directly here, and should include a “Keylor Travel Fund” designation in the notes section.
A tribute to Keylor was read at the Convocation ceremony by Associate Professor of International Relations Michael Corgan, who outlined Keylor’s numerous contributions to Boston University, the Pardee School and to the field of international relations.
“Professor William Keylor is truly one of the pillars of the Pardee School. He has been with the School and the preceding International Relations Department since the beginning,” Corgan said. “He was also Chair of the History Department from 1988-2000 and has been Director of the International History Institute since 1999. In addition to all this, his lecture courses for Pardee School have been easily the most popular ones and his many books on international affairs are widely praised.”
Keylor joined Boston University in 1972 as a Professor of History, and was a founding member of the Department of International Relations and the Pardee School. A legendary teacher, he has previously received Boston University’s highest teaching prizes, the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching and the United Methodist Church Scholar-Teacher Award.
Professor Keylor has received Guggenheim, Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, and Earhart fellowships. He has been named a Chevalier de L’Ordre National du Mérite by the French government. He served twelve years as Chair of the Department of History and one as interim chair of International Relations.
Professor Keylor’s two-course sequence, History of International Relations, is one of the longest-running and most popular courses at the Pardee School. Generations of students have described that course as foundational in their academic training and Professor Keylor as knowledgeable, accessible, enlightening, and encouraging. He is deeply respected by his colleagues, beloved by his students, and academic supervisor to many, many theses.
In 2016, Keylor was awarded the School’s Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family Prize for Faculty Excellence. The Gitner Prize honors teaching and mentoring excellence and is awarded each year to a faculty member who embodies the School’s mission to advance human progress.
“Though modest about these accomplishments he is not modest about being the only BU Prof able to explain baseball’s Infield Fly Rule,” Corgan said. “His highest honor, though, comes from the praises of the over 16,000 students who for more than 20 years have regularly packed his classes.”
Student evaluations of his classes are peppered with comments such as “Best course at BU!” and “Amazing professor and amazing class!” In the space for “Weaknesses,” the most common response is “None.”