APS News

Matching Funds Bring Bouchet Endowment Campaign Closer to the Finish Line

Bouchet In 1876, Edward Alexander Bouchet made history by becoming the first African American PhD physicist, and the sixth person of any race to receive a PhD in physics from an American university. Bouchet went on to educate and inspire others as a science teacher at a school for black students.
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APS has secured matching funds that will boost the campaign to endow the Edward A. Bouchet Award, given annually to a distinguished minority physicist.

The Award carries a stipend of $3500, and provides travel funds to allow the recipient to visit up to three different academic institutions. The purpose of these visits is for the recipient to deliver technical lectures about his or her specialty, to visit classrooms when appropriate, to assist in pre-college outreach efforts where appropriate, and to talk informally with both faculty and students about research and teaching careers in physics. In doing so, the recipient serves as a role model for others interested in pursuing a career in physics.

Established in 1994 by the APS Committee on Minorities, the Award had been supported by annual contributions from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, but these funds are no longer available.

To fully endow the Award requires $140,000, of which $55,000 has already been raised. If another $42,500 can be raised, this amount will be doubled by the matching funds, bringing the endowment to its target level.

A high-level fundraising committee has been formed, with co-Chairs Beverly Hartline of Montana Tech and S. James Gates, Jr. of the University of Maryland. In a letter to potential donors, Gates stated that "as the first Bouchet Award recipient, I can attest to the increase in exposure and visibility it provides, which in turn opens doors of physics to diverse members and minority groups."

Gifts or pledges that can be paid over a three-year period are welcome. More information about the campaign can be obtained from APS Director of Development Darlene Logan at 301-209-3224, or logan@aps.org, and also at the campaign website, Edward A. Bouchet Award.

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Editor: Alan Chodos