Department of Physics and Astronomy

John J. Turin Award and Convocation

The John J. Turin Award - in memory of former Department Chair John Turin -  is awarded annually by the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy to outstanding alumni of the Department.  

Recipients of the John J. Turin Award for Outstanding Career Accomplishments 

2019 John D. Teufel
2018 Anca L. Sala
2017 Thomas J. Suleski
2012 Steve B. Howell
2009 Karl D. Gordon
2007 Robert C. Dempsey
2006 Robert C. Pollex
2005 Lorenzo J. Curtis
2004 Michael R. Combi
2003 Helen L. Brooks
2002 Steven H. Selman
2001 Richard M. Heinz
2000 Stephen Arnold
1999 John L. Kohl
1998 Richard T. Obermyer
1997 Maureen Meyers Lawrence
1995 Duane Muhlmann


John J. Turin
December 8, 1913 - December 13, 1973
Physics and Astronomy Department Chair 1946-1972
Dean, Graduate School 1969-1973

Photo: John teaching modern physics (circa 1956) 

Because so many questions of the scientist and the child are profoundly the same, this is a doorway through which both may enter, to wonder and to grow - to be excited, to stretch to understand, to seek from other worlds the rediscovery of our own. 
- John J. Turin, at the Dedication of Ritter Astrophysical Center 




John Turin and Arthur C. Clarke


Dr. John J. Turin, director of the Ritter Astrophysical Research Center and Mrs. Helen Brooks, associate director of the Planetarium, hosted a tour of the facility for Arthur C. Clarke, originator of the communications satellite concept, science writer and author of the book "The Sentinel" and the filmscript it inspired for "2001: A Space Odyssey," when he visited the campus November 12, 1968 to address a University Convocation. He viewed Ritter's 40-inch reflecting telescope and its auxiliary equipment, visited the Ritter laboratories and contributed a taped commentary which was included in the Planetarium's Christmas show. At that time Mr. Clarke was building a planetarium at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where he currently resides.

Clarke, Brooks, and Turin Sybil, John, John Jr. and Barbara Turin
Last Updated: 6/27/22