Malcolm Willey was born on November 13, 1897 in Portland, Maine. He received a B.A. degree in 1920 from Clark University and his M.A. in 1921 and Ph.D. in 1926 from Columbia University. He served on the faculty of Dartmouth (1923-1927) and Syracuse Universities (1926-1927) before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1927. Dr. Willey was appointed the position of associate professor of sociology (1927-1929) at the University of Minnesota and became a full professor in 1929. Dr. Willey was promoted to assistant to the President in 1932 and University dean in 1934. In 1943 he became the first Vice President of Academic Administration and remained in that position until his retirement in 1963. After retirement, he went to the University of Calcutta as head of a Ford Foundation team to reorganize the educational and administrative structure of that institution. Upon returning to the United States from India in 1968, Dr. Willey joined the faculty as head of the Sociology Department at Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee.


NANCY (BOYD) WILLEY (1902-1998)

Nancy Boyd was born in Sag Harbor, New York and raised in Brooklyn. She skipped grades, was head of her class, and earned high academic achievements. Although her mother, Annie Cooper Boyd lived in Brooklyn during her pregnancy, she returned to the family homestead in Sag Harbor to give birth to Nancy. The family spent long summers each year in Sag Harbor, where outdoor living and dining was the norm all summer long. It was here that he joy of outdoor living was bred into Nancy from the earliest age. Nancy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Barnard College in New York City, where she met and married Malcolm Willey in 1924. Nancy became interested in historical preservation, as did Malcolm, She was President and historian for the Old Sagg-Harbour Committee since its inception, writing about Sag Harbor’s history. In the late 1940s, she and friend Josephine Bassett had led a successful endeavor to save the old Custom House from demolition, having it moved to its present location on Main Street. Two of the most important accomplishments of Nancy Boyd Willey in Sag Harbor, were the establishment of the Sag Harbor Historic District and the Village’s Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board, both meant to protect its unique and important architectural history.

Color photography © Matt Schmitt Photography