Frank N. Edmonds, Jr. Memorial Fellowship

Aug 10, 1984 | Graduate Fellowships, Professorships

The Frank N. Edmonds, Jr. Memorial Fellowship was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on February 11, 1993, for the benefit of the College of Natural Sciences. Gift funds were provided by friends and colleagues of Austin, Texas. The endowment honors Dr. Frank N. Edmonds, Jr. of Austin, Texas.

Frank Norman Edmonds, Jr. graduated with a BS degree in physics from Princeton University in 1941. He served as Captain in the US Air Corp from 1941-45. After the war, he resumed his academic studies at the University of Chicago and graduated in 1949 with a PhD in Astronomy.

Edmonds began his teaching career at the University of Missouri. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1952 as Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy. In 1958, he became an Associate Professor in the newly formed Department of Astronomy, serving as Associate Chair from 1959 to 1961. Edmonds was the only observational astronomer from UT to use McDonald Observatory for most of the 1950s and served as its Associate Director from 1960 to 1962. He then spent a year in France as a Guggenheim Fellow at the Section d’Astrophysique of the Observatoire de Paris in Meudon.

Edmonds made significant contributions to the development of the Astronomy Department during his 32 years of service. For 20 years he served as Graduate Advisor and Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, a position he created in 1960.  He defined service and extended his professional vision beyond astronomy, attending to the administration of UT Austin as a member of numerous committees.

Edmonds held his professorship until deteriorating health compelled him to take an early retirement in 1984.  On that occasion, the Regents of The University of Texas at Austin created this professorship to honor his achievements and distinguished service to the Astronomy Department and the University.

Edmonds married Joan Mary McKinney in 1945 and the couple had two children, Cynthia Ann Torkelsen and Christopher Norman Edmonds. He died in Austin on September 3, 1986.

Mrs. Edmonds reflected that there is no more fitting memorial than this legacy endowment for her husband. He loved every minute of his teaching career.

Revised on April 2018

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