University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

In Memoriam: Former UVM vice president Alfred B. Rollins

Former UVM vice president Alfred B. Rollins died on February 20 in Norfolk, Virginia at the age of 91.

Rollins was hired prior to the 1967-68 academic year as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences with an appointment in the Department of History. In 1970, he became UVM’s vice president of Academic Affairs, a position equivalent to provost.        

Among other contributions, Rollins played a key role in launching the university’s Experimental Program, which provided the framework for the Living Learning Center, and helped lay the groundwork the university’s Environmental Program. 

After leaving UVM, Rollins became president of Old Dominion, a position he held from 1976 to 1985. He was credited with transforming the institution from a regional college to a major research university.            

Before coming to UVM  Rollins served as a history department chair in Harpur college at SUNY Binghamton and the State University of New York at New Paltz.   Rollins, the son of a minister, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Wesleyan University and his doctorate at Harvard.            

Rollins was an accomplished writer of scholarly books and articles, as well as fiction. His best known work as a historian was the book Roosevelt and Howe.

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