The 'Czar of Stevens': Alexander Humphreys

Dr Humphreys breaking ground at the new Athletic Field with the help of some students, 1920.

Alexander Crombie Humphreys, the second President of Stevens (1902 - 1926), is remembered in an exhibit in the Library this fall. Letters, Humphreys' bound 1903 inaugural address to the school, pictures, and more are on display from the archives about the man dubbed fondly by students, the “Czar of Stevens” because of his decisive and eloquent leadership style. 

Humphreys was himself a Stevens alumnus. He graduated from Stevens in 1881. With a full-time career as Superintendent of the Greenville Gas Co. and a wife and two small children at the time, Humphreys entered Stevens as a part-time student at age thirty. He was meant to take 6 years to complete his degree but finished in 4. His hard-working ethics and drive were infectious on campus.  

Humphreys’ administration saw rapid growth at the University: the Morton Memorial Laboratory (1906) and the Walker Gym (1916) were constructed to accommodate the growing student population. In addition, the University purchased the Castle Stevens home along with additional acreage from the Stevens family. Castle Stevens became the first residence hall on campus. 

This exhibit will be up on the second floor in the Calder Corner until the summer of 2019.