As I write this we are getting our first good snow here in Manhattan, about 7 inches along with a sharp cold snap.

On campus this year changes continue to occur. The renovation of the inside of the Student Union building is pretty much finished and the new Union looks elegant and functional.The renovation of the plaza area outside the Union (on the North side) continues with some shelters and seating areas being constructed along with a large new paved area.

Fiedler Hall, an addition to the engineering complex on campus, has been completed and is now open. This building houses a technological library, classrooms and laboratories.

Ackert Hall expansion is underway to the east of Ackert to allow more space for the Division of Biology. We are slowly seeing green space between campus buildings disappearing. This seems to be the price of progress!

The Wildcats had a great season, being 10-3 overall and the big 12 conference north division champions. K-State accepted the Cotton Bowl bid and the Wildcats beat Tennessee 35-21-Jan. 1, 2001.

KSU Alumni Establish Faculty Chairs

Frank and Elizabeth Burke, Doylestown, Pa., have made a gift of $500,000 to the Kansas State University Foundation to establish the Ernest K. and Liilan E. Chapin Physics Chair. The purpose of the chair is to attract and retain the highest quality faculty. They have also endowed the John W. and Dorothy M. Burke Architectural Engineering Chair.

The Kansas Partnership for the Faculty of Distinction Program was enacted by the Kansas Legislature in the 1999-2000 legislative session. Under the program, the state provides matching funds when donors give atleast $500,000 for an endowed professorship/chair at one of the state regents institutions.

Frank Burke graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1955. He is a trustee of the KSU Foundation . Elizabeth Chapin Burke graduated with a bachelor's degree in dietectics and institutional management in 1955. The Burkes are members of President's Club, a leadership organization for friends and alumni of K-State.

"Both my wife and I will always be tremendously grateful for KSU and its impact on our families over the years, "Frank Burke said. "My father graduated from K-State with an architectural engineering degree and four of his sons attended the university as well. He had a distinguished engineering career in industry as a result of his education. Elizabeth's father, Ernest Chapin, distinguished himself as a career physics professor at KSU and she had two brothers and a sister who also attended K-State. We wanted to do this in honor of our parents, and equally important, reflect our heartfelt appreciation and devotion to K-State," he said.

"Through the generosity of the Burkes, we will be able to compete with the best schools in the nation in attracting faculty to our department," Peter Nicholls, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said. "This chair is a real boost for the physics program, and will enable us to maintain and even enhance the quality of Physics teaching and research at K-State," he said.

AMO Theory Adds Assistant Professor

The AMO(Atomic Molecular and Optical) theory group has added a new Assistant Professor, Brett Esry, in 1999. For those of you who were around the Department in 1990's, you probably would still remember Brett as an undergraduate. He went on to the University of Colorado to receive a Ph.D. degree under Professor Chris H. Greene. He was a postdoc at the Institute of Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics at Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for a year before being offered for the job in our Department. Brett came with great credentials. He was the co-winner of the Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award in AMO physics in 1999-the first time that such an award was given to a theorist.

The AMO theory group is alive and well. Together with Chii Dong Lin and Uwe Thumm, the group has five postdocs, three graduate students, two visitors. From time to time, we also have short-term visitors. The group has its own weekly meeting/seminar since last semester.



Copyright © 2001 K-State Physics Department.