Science Pioneer Dr. Harry L. Swinney ’61 to Receive Rhodes’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dr. Harry L. Swinney ’61, who teaches physics at the University of Texas, Austin and is a pioneer in the study of chaos theory, will receive the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award on Oct. 26 during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. The Alumni Convocation begins at 11 a.m. in Hardie Auditorium. Other alumni also will be recognized.

Swinney majored in physics at Rhodes and was mentored by Dr. Jack Taylor ’44. In 2000, he established a scholarship in honor of Taylor to support students majoring in the physical sciences.

Highly regarded by his colleagues, Swinney is an expert in nonlinear dynamics and was considered for the Nobel Prize for his work on the exploration of Jupiter’s Red Spot. He also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

“But it’s not only his professional accomplishments that have distinguished him and earned him alumnus recognition,” says Director of Alumni Relations Tracy Patterson ’84. “It’s also his humble, gracious nature and selfless service to others.”

Swinney has led community service efforts of the Austin Chapter of Rhodes and is a willing mentor to Rhodes students and alumni considering careers in physics and biological sciences. In addition, he has served homeless individuals through his church’s soup kitchen and travelled to poor villages in Africa to teach math and science to children there.