Graduate Program in Physics Named for Raymond Hughes
Family donates $500,000 to honor father, founderMonday, February 25, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The late Raymond H. Hughes created a legacy at the University of Arkansas by founding the graduate program in physics. His wife and their four children, who are all alumni of the university, are honoring his memory with a $500,000 endowed gift to name the Raymond H. Hughes Graduate Program in Physics within the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
Hughes, a professor in the University of Arkansas Physics Department from 1954 to 1990, brought the first research in atomic physics to the university. When the department granted its first doctorate in physics in 1964, then-assistant professor Hughes oversaw its direction. Under his direction, the University of Arkansas program integrated the Master of Science degree as a key component of the Ph.D. program.
“This is a fitting tribute to Raymond Hughes given his significance within the department of physics,” said Robin Roberts, dean of Fulbright College. “The Hughes family has preserved their father’s legacy in Fulbright College, and they have ensured that his dedication to students will continue for generations. Naming the graduate program in physics gives it the importance and significance it deserves.”
Proceeds from the endowment will be used to fund a variety of activities, including professional development for faculty who mentor and advise graduate students; professional development for graduate students; promotions for the graduate program to recruit highly accomplished students and faculty to the department; and visiting lecturers, presenters or guest faculty whose presentations provide enriching experiences for the department.
Julio Gea-Banacloche, professor and chair of the physics department, said, “Raymond Hughes founded the graduate program in physics, so it is quite appropriate to name it after him. The establishment of the Ph.D. program significantly increased our department’s ability to retain physics faculty and attract promising students. Today, the physics department is an outstanding research department and an excellent place for students to work and develop academic and professional skills. This gift will help to make it even better, which – of course – is just what Dr. Hughes always worked for.”
Hughes and his wife, Jane Hughes, have four children, all of whom attended the University of Arkansas. Diane F. Hughes Huston of Sherwood, Ark., is a graduate of the College of Education and Health Professions and holds a Bachelor of Science in Education in elementary education and a Master of Education in educational administration. Marshall R. Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science from the Fulbright College’s geology program and lives in Dallas. Clayton W. Hughes, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the College of Engineering, and Randall C. Hughes, from Rogers, Ark., holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the College of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
“College was never discussed with us while growing up; it was simply a given that we would all attend the University of Arkansas,” said Clayton W. Hughes, speaking on behalf of the family. “Because this university meant a great deal to our father, we decided to honor his legacy and devotion with something that would last longer than our lifetimes. Dad provided the university with a graduate program in physics. His support, along with our mom’s, helped nurture the graduate program and the university for 59 years. Now his children and his wife have ensured that Raymond Hughes’ name will remain with the program as it moves into the future.”
At the time of his retirement, Hughes held the rank of University Professor. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Physical Society. His work was supported at various times by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Force Cambridge Research Center, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. He also spent time at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in 1979 and 1983, respectively.
During his tenure at the university, Hughes directed 35 master’s degree students and 19 doctoral students, overseeing the work of as many as nine students at one time. He received the 1984 University of Arkansas Blue Key Award for research and has been listed in various “Who’s Who” publications, including “Who’s Who in America.” During his tenure, he published 65 papers in physics journals.
Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
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