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Giving to the Physics Department

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Department of Physics and Astronomy. You can “help where it’s needed most” by giving to the Physics Enrichment Fund, which funds a range of priorities. You can also contribute to any of the funds listed below—or start your own!

If you’d like to explore more options for supporting students, faculty, equipment or other priorities in Physics, please contact Michael Webb.

Undergraduate Scholarships
  • William Bugg Physics Faculty Scholarship
  • G. Samuel and Betty P. Hurst Scholarship
  • Joan Greene Patterson Scholarship
  • Dorothy and Rufus Ritchie Scholarship
  • James McConnell Scholarship (via the McConnell Endowment, see below)
  • Robert and Sue Talley Scholarship
  • Isabel Tipton Scholarship
  • Glenn R. and Elise I. Young Scholarship
  • Physics General Scholarship
Undergraduate Awards
  • Douglas V. Roseberry Memorial Fund: This fund supports the Douglas V. Roseberry Award, which recognizes an upper-level student who exemplifies the attributes of Douglas Roseberry, an undergraduate physics major at UT in the late 1950s known for his academic and research acumen as well as his enthusiasm for departmental and campus activities.
  • Robert Talley Undergraduate Awards: These honors established by the Robert Talley Endowment recognize students for outstanding undergraduate research and outstanding undergraduate leadership.
Graduate Awards, Scholarships, and Fellowships
  • Alvin Herborg Nielsen Graduate Scholarship: Named for longtime department head and dean Alvin H. Nielsen, this scholarship provides financial support for graduate students majoring in physics.
  • Paul Stelson Fellowship Fund: These fellowships are the legacy of Dr. Paul Stelson, who had a long and distinguished career in the ORNL Physics Division and was also an adjunct professor of physics at UT. In addition to fellowship awards for recruiting new students, the fund also supports two fellowships at Honors Day each year: one for outstanding beginning research and the second for professional promise.
  • Fowler-Marion Physics Fund: Established by Joseph Fowler and Jerry Marion, this fund supports an award acknowledging a graduate student who has excelled in scholarship, research, and departmental citizenship.
Other Departmental Funds
  • Robert Birkhoff Endowment: Robert Birkhoff was a UT Physics Professor and an Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist. He set up the Birkhoff Endowment to provide scholarships and fellowships to physics students in the department. Stipends allocated from this fund may be used for housing, books, travel, research, and other expenses related to students’ educational experience including tuition.
  • Bill and Marian Bugg Physics Fund: Established by Professor Emeritus and Former Department Head Bill Bugg and his wife Marian, this endowment will provide broad support for department priorities at the department head's discretion, including teaching awards for faculty, technology purchases, visting lecturers, scholarships, fellowships, and other purposes related to the department's mission.
  • Wayne Kincaid Award: This award honors a student who shares Wayne Kincaid’s love for astronomy and astrophysics education and who has made exceptional contributions to educational technology, astronomy education, or scientific writing. While preference is given to a graduate student, undergraduates may also be considered.
  • Jon C. Levin Scholarship: This scholarship was established to honor Physics Professor Jon Levin, who passed away in 2016. Levin was director of the undergraduate physics program and, once endowed, this fund in his name will support undergraduate scholarships.
  • Robert W. Lide Citations: The Lide Citations originated in 1998 to recognize students who have made exceptional contributions to the undergraduate instructional laboratories in the spirit of the late Bob Lide, physics professor and laborabory director.
  • James McConnell Physics Excellence Endowment: James McConnell was an electrical engineering graduate from the University of Tennessee who established two endwoments at UT—one in physics and a second in engineering—for scholarships and fellowships for students, faculty awards to acknowledge outstanding teaching and/or research, technology purchases, and any other uses that support or enhance the department’s academic mission.
  • James E. Parks Award: Physics Alumnus Richard Manley and his wife Melissa established this award in early 2015 to honor retired Physics Undergraduate Laboratory Directory James E. Parks and recognize students sharing his commitment to hands-on, innovative physics teaching in a laboratory setting.
  • Physics Enrichment Fund: This is a flexible account that supports the department's mission where needed by providing funds for equipment, conference travel, outreach efforts, etc., on behalf of physics faculty and students.
  • Physics Equipment Fund: This fund supports equipment purchases for physics teaching and outreach.
  • Lee and Tina Riedinger Endowment for the Department of Physics and Astronomy: This fund was established by Physics Professor and former Department Head Lee Riedinger and his wife Tina, who was a celebrated instructor in the department for many years. The Reidinger family will designate specific use of the funds at a later date.
  • Jim Trolinger Endowed Entrepreneurial Scholarship: Established by Distinguished Alumni Awardee (2009) Jim Trolinger, this The scholarship shall be given to students to enable them to participate in research as part of their education in physics.

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