Lt. Col. Durward B. “Woody” Varner ’40 graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He received his master’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1949. At A&M, Lt. Col. Varner was a member of H Infantry, serving as Cadet Colonel. He also served as sophomore and junior class president, varsity basketball captain, and editor of the Scientific Review. Lt. Col. Varner served in the U.S. Army during WWII and organized the Aggie Muster on the Elbe River. He started his academic career at Michigan State University, rising to Vice President. He went on to serve as the first Chancellor of Oakland University in Michigan and helped create their renowned Meadow Brook Music Festival. He became President of the University of Nebraska in 1970 and later served as the Chairman of the University of Nebraska Foundation. Lt. Col. Varner was the driving force behind the Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska and the Mid-America Arts Alliance.