Randy Boyd is the President of The University of Tennessee System and the founder of Radio Systems Corporation in Knoxville, Boyd Sports, and TnAchieves.
You decided to run for governor of Tennessee in your 50’s. While you did not win, what was the best lesson that you can share?
There were so many it’s impossible to say one is the best, but I’ll share the positive outcome from it. Running for office allows you to really understand the people of your state, understand their needs, and develop solutions with them. There are so many good people in every corner of the state from small towns to big cities, from farms to factories. Now serving as the University of Tennessee President, this knowledge has been critical in my new job. UT is the land grant university of the state of Tennessee, and as such we are here to serve the people of Tennessee. Without knowing them now as I do, I don’t know how I can do this job effectively so I am thankful for the experience.
You became the President of the University of Tennessee System at the age of 60! What advice would you give to someone who wants to achieve at your level?
In Theodore Roosevelt’s words, always “Dare Mighty Things.” It’s a quote I have on the wall, and remind myself of it every day. You should constantly try to live out of your comfort zone. It helps you learn and grow. Also for me, it’s about making the world a better place and making a difference so I try to find opportunities where I can make the biggest impact.
We like to say that if you are 60 and healthy, you can live to be 100! What is one of your future goals?
From a health and fitness perspective, what’s up next is to run a marathon on every continent and run 50 full and 100 half [marathons]. I’ve ran two continents so far but knocked out the most difficult, Antarctica. I have 45 full marathons and 76 half marathons. I’ll probably continue to run, but a little less and find some new challenges. For me, being “fit and healthy” is what I need to be to accomplish a goal, not the goal itself. But it is a great side benefit!