Farewell, Fraser Drew

Buffalo State’s beloved Fraser B. Drew passed away on June 24, just hours after his 100th birthday.

An English professor at the college from 1945 to 1983, Drew enjoyed a legendary career here. He was Buffalo State’s first SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, an honor that recognized his spellbinding classroom presence. Among his many claims to fame was his regular correspondence with writers such as Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Thornton Wilder, and Ernest Hemingway—correspondence he happily shared with his students.

A dapper man known for his charming personality, Drew first taught at Green Mountain College in Vermont and Syracuse University before being invited by then-president Harry Rockwell to join the faculty at Buffalo State. It was a fortunate hire for decades of Buffalo State students who learned the art of reading and writing from a true mentor.

One of those students, Hank Nuwer, ’68, kept in touch with Drew through letters for 38 years. The 2009 book One Long, WILD Conversation is a record of their correspondence and a tribute to the ideal of lifelong learning between teacher and student.