Willis L. Curtis, 1938
Dairy farmer, legislator, broadcaster, writer, activist, and President of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.
Will Curtis worked as a dairy farmer, legislator, broadcaster, writer, activist, and as President of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, an organization known nationally for its educational programs and environmental projects. For his brilliant career, focused on enriching lives and the environment, Vermont Academy honors Curtis, class of 1938, with the Florence Sabin distinguished Alumni Award.
Curtis and his wife owned a shoe manufacturing business, and later bought a Vermont dairy farm and raised cows until 1963. Near this time, Curtis was elected to the Vermont legislature. He was instrumental in the initial development of conservation and environmental regulations. Curtis and his wife owned the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, VT, one of the finest bookstores in New England. They were also writers, authoring Times Gone By, The World of George Perkins Marsh, America’s First Environmentalist and Return to These Hills: The Vermont Years of Calvin Coolidge.
Will Curtis began his career as a radio broadcaster with a three-minute, twice-a-day nature program on a local Vermont station. The show, “The Nature of Things,” is now syndicated and boasts more than a million listeners worldwide. Looking back at his life, Curtis stated, “It has had so many satisfactions, I think it could have only happened in Vermont.”