A native of Humboldt, Tennessee, Roy graduated from Columbia Military Academy. Upon earning his B.A. from Vanderbilt University on a Navy scholarship, he was assigned to active duty in the USS Wisconsin. Upon completion of his military commitment, he enrolled in law school at the University of Mississippi, where he graduated in 1960, and was admitted to The Mississippi Bar. After completing a program in international legal studies at Boalt Hall, the University of California at Berkeley, he entered Yale University Law School and received a Master of Laws degree in 1962. He immediately began teaching at the University of Florida’s College of Law, his academic home for almost fifty years. He currently serves as Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Florida.
Beginning in 1976, Roy developed a specialty in Historic Preservation Law. This led to his being appointed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Board of Advisory and to serve as President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. He was appointed by Governors Graham and Chiles to the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, and later served as Chair of the legislatively created Historic Preservation Advisory Council. Upon retirement from active teaching in 1998, he served the Florida Secretary of State for four years as Special Advisor for International Affairs, Historic Preservation, and Cultural Resources, a period during which he also served on the Florida Arts Council and chaired The Grove Advisory Council, the Great Floridians Committee, and the Mission San Luis Board. Among numerous publications, he edited and co-authored Historic Preservation in Florida (1998). His many articles include “Saving St. Augustine’s Soul.” Historic Preservation Forum (1997).
Professional awards include a Resolution of Gratitude for Significant Contributions to Education and Historic Preservation from Florida’s Governor and Cabinet and the Senator Bob Williams Award from the State of Florida.
More recently, Roy served on the National Historic Landmarks Committee in Washington from 2002-2008. Presently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Advocacy for the College of Design, Construction, and Planning.