Augustus Van Wyck

Augustus Van Wyck, Upsilon, 1864, Phi Alpha 1882-1883

Augustus Van Wyck, Upsilon, 1864, was an attorney, judge and politician from a prominent New York family whose roots date back to the early Dutch immigrants to North America, His brother, Robert, was Mayor of New York City, of which the Van Wyck Expressway is named after.

Brother Van Wyck graduated from the University of North Carolina and relocated in Richmond, Virginia and then Brooklyn, New York in 1871, He practiced law there and was president of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. In 1884, Brother Van Wyck was elected to the Superior Court in Brooklyn until being transferred to the Supreme Court of the State of New York in 1896. Then, much to his surprise, Van Wyck was nominated by his fellow Democrats to oppose the Republican candidate for Governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt. Although Van Wyck was a strong candidate, Roosevelt’s popularity after the Spanish American War led him to win narrowly (661,715 to 643,921). After the election, Van Wyck resumed his law practice until his death in 1922.

Brother Van Wyck, although relocated to New York, continued his commitment to the
Upsilon chapter and the University of North Carolina as an alumnus. He was president
of the New York Association of Alumni of the University of North Carolina as well as
president of the North Carolina Society in New York City. His son, William, followed him
into the Fraternity at Columbia University’s Alpha chapter.

Brother Van Wyck passed away on June 8, 1922, and is buried at Greenwood (Green-Wood) Cemetery in Brooklyn (Lot 35617, Section 190), joining founding Zeta Psi Brothers John B. Y. Sommers and John Moon Skillman there.