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Dr. Joseph Morgan

Joseph Morgan (1909-1994), who spent most of his academic career at TCU, was a major influence on the development of the Department of Physics and the furtherance of science at the University.  He is remembered with fondness and respect by colleagues who served with him on the faculty and by the many undergraduate and graduate students who learned physics from him.

Born in Kiev Russia, Morgan came to the United States at an early age to settle in Philadelphia where he received his early education.  After earning the A.B. in 1931 and M.A. in 1933 from Temple University, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received the Ph.D. in physics in 1937. Coming to TCU as assistant professor in 1941, he rose to full professor in 1945. He served as director of the Engineering Program in 195 1, chairman of the Science Division (1953-55), chairman of the Department of Physics (1958-69), and vice president of the TCU Research Foundation from (1969-78). Dr. Morgan was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and selected Professor of the Year in 1960. He was the author of numerous articles and six textbooks. A student of the violin from an early age when he played in a junior orchestra under famed Philadelphia Orchestra conductor, Arthur Rodzinski, he had a lifelong passion for music.

As a principal architect of the physics department, during his tenure as professor and chairman, and a strong supporter of graduate studies at the University while vice-president of the TCU Research Foundation, Joseph Morgan made significant contributions to the development and growth of research at the University. The Joseph Morgan Lectures inaugurated in 1995 are intended to reflect his broad interests in scholarly activities and his particular delight in research seminars.


Development of the Joseph Morgan Lecture

Endowment of a lecture series to honor the memory of Dr. Joseph Morgan was first suggested shortly after Dr. Morgan’s death in 1994 by Dr. Ira Lon Morgan (A.B. 1949), one of Dr. Morgan’s early students at TCU. The Department of Physics supported the lecture series during its first several years while the endowment grew toward its goal with contributions from former students, friends and department faculty. Especially important in this growth was a bequest from Arlynn Purvis.  Lynn had his B.A. in physics from TCU in 1958 and his M.A. in 1961. Lynn was a long time supporter of the physics department, attended the inaugural Morgan lecture and his bequest brought the lectureship endowment to fruition after his untimely death in 1998.  The endowment needs to continue to grow and contributions from friends of the TCU Department of Physics and Astronomy are always welcome and encouraged.

Summary of Lectures from 1995 to the present















Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus

Dr. Marlan Sculley

Dr. Robert Curl

Dr. Harry Swinney

Dr. Robert Van Dreele

Dr. Lawrence Krauss

Dr. Craig Wheeler

Dr. Rocky Kolb

Dr. Philip Plait

Dr. Eugene Izhikevich

Dr. Yury Gogotsi

Dr. William Borucki

Dr. Edward L. Wright

Dr. Daniel J. Gauthier


Texas A&M University

Rice University

University of Texas, Austin

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Case Western Reserve

University of Texas, Austin

Fermilab & University of Chicago


The Neurosciences Institute

Drexel University



Duke University