William and Joan Porter Professor of Physics

Endowed in 2007 to fund a chair for the Head

of the Department of Physics

with a generous gift from Bill and Joan Porter


Bill Porter (left) Joan Porter (left)

Photos taken at the 2003 reception for  KSU Physics alumni at

Bill and Joan's Home in California

Bill Porter graduated from Adams State College in Colorado. He then came to Manhattan where he earned a master’s in physics here at Kansas State University. His master’s thesis, “Infrared spectroscopy applied to the study of the autoxidation of di-iso-butyl ketone” was published in 1952. In 1967, after working at the National Bureau of Standards, General Electric and Textron Corporation, he continued his education at MIT.   (more...)

Recently at KSU Bill was the first Ernest Fox Nichols lecturer, was a Distinguished Lecturer for the College of Business Administration and was the speaker for the 2004 College of Arts & Sciences Spring Commencement. (See the picture below.)


Joan attended the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology’s doctoral program and  is the founder of Stillheart, a retreat center in Northern California.  She has visited the KSU campus twice.


This gift is part of Bill and Joan's  continuing effort to provide strong support to higher education.  Other gifts to KSU have supported the President's Office and teaching and research in physics .  Major gifts have also been given to MIT and Adams State University.


Bill and Joan have three children and ten grandchildren.  They have homes in Portola Valley, California and Princeville, Hawaii.


Dean Zollman will become the first William and Joan Porter Professor of Physics.


The Porter Professorship is part of the State’s Faculty of Excellence Program in which the chaired professor receives some funds from the endowment and additional funds from the State of Kansas. 


e-trade tribute to Bill Porter.

Award from Adams State University

International Securities Exchange bio

"Legendary Leaders" - MIT Alumni

Wikipedia bio (not much)