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Department of Physics and Astronomy Records

Identifier: UA 004.21

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the official records that reflect the history and activities of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1963-2015. These records contain materials related to academic departments, committees, courses, curriculum, degree proposals, faculty affairs, the history of the department, and various organizations. The files primarily include annual reports, brochures, committee minutes, correspondence, memorandums, pamphlets, and an archive of the department's website.


  • 1963 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Department of Physics began in the late 1910s with W.C.A. Hammel as the sole physics professor on campus. However, in 1916, he was forced out by College President Julius I. Foust who did not believe Hammel to be a strong academic teacher. He was replaced by several short term appointees, none of whom lived up to Foust's expectations. During that time, the department fell into deplorable conditions. It was not until the 1930s and the hiring of Calvin Warfield and John Tiedeman did the department establish a highly reputable undergraduate program.

However, at the start of World War II, Warfield and Tiedeman left the Women's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) to join the war effort. In 1941, Anna Joyce Reardon, a PhD graduated from St. Louis University, replaced the two men as the head of the University's physics department. She worked at the University until her retirement in 1965. She was seceded by Clifton Bob Clark who helped to greatly expand the influence and development of the department. This included the establishment of a Master's degree program in 1967.

In 1975, Clark stepped down and was replaced by Gaylord Hageseth. Stephen Danford, an astronomer, join the Department in 1976. Eventually in 1986, the Department changed it name and became the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


2.09 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Department of Physics begin in the late 1910s, however, it struggled to establish a reputable undergraduate program until the 1930s. It would continue to grow over the years and in 1986 changed its name to the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Today it is responsible for the undergraduate and graduate curricula in physics and astronomy.

The records of the Department of Physics and Astronomy contain annual reports, brochures, committee minutes, correspondence, memorandums, pamphlets, an archive of the department's website, and other records which document the activities of the Department from 1963-2015.

Arrangement Note

The arrangement scheme for this collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a useable original order. This collection is arranged into two series with series 1 arranged in alphabetical order while series 2 is in chronological order. Series 1: General Files, 1963-2015 Series 2: Annual Reports, 1970-1997

Method of Acquisition

Records are transferred periodically from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Sean A. Mulligan, December, 2010 Encoded by Sean A. Mulligan , December, 2010
Department of Physics and Astronomy Records
Sean A. Mulligan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US