News for the Alumni and Friends of the (former) Space Physics and Astronomy Department

Volume 4, Number 3             May 6, 2004

Hot News - Alumni News - Faculty News - Staff News - Observatory News - Other News

WINNERS! and other reunion news:

This year's 40th anniversary Reunion featured a tribute to emeritus faculty Bill Gordon (left) and founding Chair Alex Desser (right)

Thanks to all who worked so hard, the reunion was grand fun. The weather wasn't cooperative, but we had a lot of last-minute speakers we could add in, so in fact the day was quite full with very interesting talks! I videotaped most of them, so if you are interested in hearing any of them, let me know.

We had over 90 people at the banquet, including many folks we hadn't seen in a long time like Al Heath, Bob Hirt, John McGarity and Karen Smith-Barnes, as well as alumni of all vintages. Faculty present included Bill Gordon and his wife Liz, Alex and Lorraine Dessler with Valerie and Tom Greider, Frances and Francis Brotzen, and many of the current faculty.

Alumni News: Distinguished Alumni Awards presented at Reunion!

The WINNERS of the alumni awards were announced, and plaques given - CONGRATULATIONS!! They are:

60's: Rick Chappell
70's: Jerry Fishman
80's: Frank Toffoletto
90's: Dana Crider
00's: Andrew Urquhart (unable to come because of new baby; plaque accepted by Tom Hill)
Outstanding undergrad: Rick Fienberg
Administrative Staff: Umbe Cantu
Research Staff: Bob Spiro (unable to come; plaque accepted by Dick Wolf)

(Shown in image above: Umbe, Rick, and Jerry)

Because we had so many excellent alumni nominated, for many of the races, a clear majority was not achieved on the first ballot. In those cases, the candidates with the fewest votes were eliminated, and the people who voted for them had their ballots examined and their vote shifted to their second choice (or third, if necessary). When one candidate received a true majority of the votes cast, then the preferential voting stopped. By having people vote preferentially like this, we could have a runoff without having a second vote. Interestingly, in each case the final winner was unchanged from the person who got the most first-place votes. Also, a couple of ballots came in late but they would not have changed the final tally. I apologize for the short time that the polls were open, but I wanted to have all the newly-found alumni have an opportunity to nominate and vote, and we were still getting newly found people every day!

We'll have another awards ceremony in another 5 years, so there will be another chance to vote!

If you did not receive your invitation in the mail, please let us know. We may not have your correct physical address. (It had a picture of the special 40th anniversary laser pointer, plus the web site).

Everyone who paid full registration fees should have picked up their laser pointer. Anyone who didn't come or registered for the banquet only or as a spouse, we do have some extra laser pointers. They are $10 plus $2 shipping, or come get them. Also, I forgot to distribute the special 40th anniversary booklet of the JFK "to the moon" speech. If anyone wants one of those, let Umbe or me know and we will mail it to you.

Great seeing all of you! Next time in February or March!

Editor: Patricia Reiff (

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last modified: May 6, 2004