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)

Lil' Alf

In 1940, James Lippke (AU 1943) and Walter "Lucky" Lawrence (AU 1947) created
a little knight caricature called "Lil' Alf" which became an unofficial symbol of Alfred University.
Lippke and Lawrence were both brothers at the Kappa Psi Upsilon fraternity and had the
responsibility of preparing signs for the football games which hung each Saturday at the foot of the hill by the Kappa Psi house.

"It occurred to them [Lippke and Lawrence] that a central symbol for Alfred University was needed to lend continuity to successive signs. This impetus prompted them to create the 'Lil Alf' caricature which first appeared in the fall of 1940. The continued use of 'Lil Alf' by the fraternity led to the general acceptance of the caricature as a symbol of Alfred University. In this capacity he has been sculptured in ice and snow, referred to on radio and television and has appeared as the central theme for campus decoration." (Fiat Lux, January 12, 1960, p.2)

"During the Winter Carnival last year, love came into Little Alf's life. The men of Kappa Psi presented him as a snow figure on their lawn. In addition, they created Alfredia, a female Amazon. The two figures fell in love and the engagement was announced shortly after. Kappa Psi won first prize for the lawn scene." (Fiat Lux, November 23, 1948, p.1)



IIn 1949, Lil' Alf was re-sketched by George Tappan (AU 1950) who was also a Kappa Psi Upsilon brother. This iteration was used in various forms throughout the next four decades until being essentially phased out by the late 1990s. As part of a new logo and graphic identity campaign, all other symbols and illustrations (including Lil Alf) were retired and are not to be used for University materials.










Lil' Alf on the 1970 Homecoming signs