Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics
When Lois McGlothlin Donaldson attended the University of Memphis as a young woman she majored in Art History. After her college years, as she grew older, she became fascinated by the obvious beauty in Hubble telescope images of deep space nebulae. Here was art of a different sort and with a history that was unfathomable. She began to read about the stars, and developed a deep appreciation for the artistry of celestial mechanics. Fascinated with how the physical universe functions, her interests broadened to include Scientific American articles on particle physics and quantum mechanics.
Looking to the future, she came to believe that mankind's advancement as a species and perhaps even our future existence might well depend on those who could develop novel ways to utilize and perhaps reinterpret the physical laws that had so captured her imagination.
Had she been a younger woman when she realized all this, she would certainly have included some formal physics courses in her university studies. But new passions sometimes arrive too late in life to be fully explored. Lois passed away on Dec. 8, 2014 at the age of 71. Upon reflection after her passing, her husband saw there was still a way for her to be part of the discipline she found so appealing. Therefore, in honor of her enduring spirit of inquiry, he established in her name, an endowed lectureship in physics that would annually support the visit of a prominent scientist to discuss and exchange ideas with University of Memphis students and faculty. AD LUCEM (TO THE LIGHT).
2022 Lecture: Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann / Gravity Waves and LIGO
2021 Lecture: Dr. Meg Urry / Black Holes, Galaxies, and the Evolution of the Universe
2020 Lecture: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Lecture was not held.
2019 Lecture: Dr. Matthew A. Greenhouse / The James Webb Space Telescope Mission
2018 Lecture: Dr. Robert Scherrer / What is the Universe Made Of?
2017 Lecture: Dr. Clifford Martin Will / Black Holes, Waves of Gravity & Other Warped Ideas of Dr. Einstein
2016 Lecture: Dr. Eric Chaisson / Cosmic Evolution and the Rise of Complexity in Nature