Herrick Memorial Library at Alfred University

  • Archives & Special Collections
  • Herrick Memorial Library
  • Alfred University
  • 1 Saxon Drive
  • Alfred, NY 14802
  • 607-871-2385 (Phone)
  • 607-871-2299 (Fax)

W. Varick Nevins, III and Lillian Texiere Nevins

photo of W. Varick Nevins, III photo of Lillian T. Nevins

W. Varick Nevins, III (1910-1967) and Lillian Texiere Nevins (1917-1985) spent their entire adult lives as members of the Alfred (N.Y.) community. Varick graduated from Alfred University in 1932 and went on to receive a master of arts degree from Columbia University in 1937 (the same year Lillian received her degree from Alfred University).

They were married in 1937 when Varick returned to Alfred as an assistant professor of mathematics. He taught in that department until his death in 1967. His love for mathematics and for teaching gained him a place in the hearts of students at Alfred and everyone who had a course with him remembers not only his knowledge of mathematics, but also his delightful sense of the ridiculous (Varick's classes were never dull).

Lillian, known to all as "Lil", worked as the Assistant to the Alumni Director and then as the University's Director of Office Services. She was best known for her encyclopedic knowledge of Alfred alumni lore and played a key role in organizing the annual campus reunions. For many years, she compiled and edited the class notes section of the alumni newspaper. In 1977, the Alumni Association cited Lil for "distinguished service" to her alma mater and currently the Association's most prestigious award is named in her honor: The Lillian T. Nevins Alfred University Recognition Award.

Together they started the Campus Theater and ran the weekly campus movie series. Originally in Alumni Hall, the theater today is located in the Powell Campus Center. In 1968, it was renamed the Nevins Theater in their honor. Varick was also an amateur film maker and we are fortunate to have several of the movies he created in the early 1930s as well as many shots of Alfred during that time.

Each year at honors convocation, mathematics students who have demonstrated the greatest achievement in their field are honored with the "The W. Varick Nevins III and Lillian Texiere Nevins Award." Also held annually is the Nevins High School Mathematics Competition.

Varick and Lil were remarkable people and left lasting contributions to Alfred University.