Fund Drive Endows New Physics Chair

Paul C. Martin '51, dean of the Division of Applied Sciences, has been named to fill an academic chair in Physics, newly endowed in the name of a former Harvard Physicist and Nobel Prize-winning profesor who died in October 1980.

The Hasbrouch Van Vleck Professorship of Pure and Applied Physics, endowed for approximately $1 million, was established through donations given to the five-year Harvard Campaign fund drive.

The Van Vleck chair is one of several professorships already set up with part of the $191 million raised in the drive which seeks to collect $250 million by 1984, said a spokesman for the Harvard Development Office, who refused to identify himself.

About $60 million of the Campaign's total will go to senior professorships like the Van Vleck chair, the spokesman said.

Considered a pioneer in the modern theory of magnetism. Van Vleck served as dean of the Physics Department from 1945 to 1949 and was the first dean of the division of Applied Sciences, a post he held until 1957. Van Vleck received a Noble Prize for physics in 1977.


"I'm delighted and honored to have a chair named after Van Vleck," said Martin. "I have a deep regard for him as a person and as a scholar."

A number of Martin's colleagues praised Martin as an excellent selection for the new professorship. Richard Wilson, chairman of the physics department, said. "Paul's particular strength is his painstaking cleverness." And David R. Nelson, professor of physics, said that "many of Martin's students have gone on to be successful in their own right."

In addition to receiving his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D degrees from Harvard, Martin has been a member of the Faculty here since 1957, a professor of physics since 1964, and served as Chairman of the Physics department between 1972 and 1975.