Lil’ Alf

LilAlf LilAlf2

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)

In 1949, Lil’ Alf was re-sketched (photo on right) by George Tappan (AU 1950), 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 University in the late 1990s.

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