A. Joseph Zuchelli

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A. Joseph Zuchelli

Legacy Faculty, 1963-99


On the Retirement of Prof. A. Joseph Zuchelli

December 10, 1999

(Delivered by Prof. Parke, Chairman, Physics)

We are here today NOT to celebrate Joe's retirement, but to collectively thank Prof. Joe Zuchelli for all he has given us, his fellow faculty, his students, and the University.

Thousands of his past students thank Joe for being a top-notch teacher. This is where his influence is immeasurable, but clearly immense.

Joe arrived at GW from the University of Mississippi in 1963, having taken his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Virginia in 1958 and a NSF postdoctoral at Birmingham University (not Alabama, but England). It was his good friend, Herman Hobbs, I believe, who recruited him, and Dean Linton who attracted him. I attended his first QED lectures at GW. No one could have been more impressive. He never used notes, but developed the full subject with precision, with humor, with clarity, with provocation and interaction with each student, with great effort to bring forth understanding, and with his own added deep insights.

Joe's contribution comes from his brilliant mind, with its insatiable appetite, and the intellectual honesty he strove for and displayed. He fought against all forms of muddled thinking. He dazzles his colleagues, and he dazzles his students, by the breadth of his knowledge and the enthusiasm with which he handle it. In this he has not changed over his whole career.

(W. Parke, 1999)