For release November 8, 2006
SPEAKERS AT DR. YOUNG’S ‘CELEBRATION’
STEEPED IN HISTORY OF SPACE INSTITUTE
Voices from the earliest days of The
University of Tennessee Space Institute will recall Dr. Robert
L. Young’s pioneering efforts in a “Celebration of Life” program
in UTSI’s auditorium at 11 a.m. Nov. 16.
Dr. Donald C. Daniel, UT associate vice president and UTSI’s
chief operating officer, is urging the public to participate in
the tribute to Dr. Young, who helped get the Institute open and
played major roles there before his death Oct. 31.
Daniel will preside at the celebration.
Dr. William T. Snyder – the second faculty member chosen
specifically for UTSI and one of five full-time professors when
the Institute opened Sept. 24, 1964 – is one of several
speakers. After leaving UTSI, Snyder served as Dean of
Engineering and Chancellor at UT Knoxville.
John Rampy, one of eight full-time students that first term,
also will speak.
“We got here expecting to find a school, and they didn’t even
have a building,” Rampy has said, remembering that classes were
held at AEDC while UTSI was being constructed. One of three
lieutenants from the Air Force Institute of Technology entering
UTSI as full-time students in 1964, Rampy says Dr. Young “was
the vanguard….working very hard to get the Space Institute idea
going.” Rampy later had a distinguished career at AEDC.
Another speaker will be Dr. Jimmy Wu, who with his wife Dr.
Susan Wu joined UTSI as full-time professors in the fall of
1965. Both were with Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory and
Electro Optical System in Pasadena, Calif., when the late Dr.
B.H. Goethert, first dean of the Space Institute, recruited
them. Later, the Wu’s had some questions for Dr. Goethert and
tried to call the Space Institute.
“The operator said she had no number for a space institute,” Dr.
Jimmy recalled. “We thought this was very strange that the
operator had not even heard of the place. We wondered if there
really was a space institute, but we knew that Dr. Goethert was
not a fake.” They soon realized that there was no telephone
because the Institute was under construction beside Woods
Reservoir. The Wu couple had long and distinguished careers with
the Space Institute.
Other speakers will include Drs. K.C. Reddy, long-time professor
of mathematics, and William F. Kimzey, former chairman of the
UTSI Support Council. Kimzey received a master’s degree from
UTSI in December 1966, and a Ph.D. in June, 1977, both in
aerospace engineering. He, too, held key positions during his
career at AEDC.
Reddy was an instructor in aerospace engineering at the
University of Maryland before joining UTSI’s faculty as
assistant professor of mathematics in July, 1966. In the late
60’s, he became closely acquainted with Dr. Young’s family when
he rented a cabana at their house. Dean emeritus of academic
affairs, Reddy retired in 1999, but continues as a part-time
Writer: Weldon Payne (931) 393-7222