Memories of Professor Howard Shugart

Professor Howard Shugart

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"Howard Shugart was an outstanding professor who dedicated his life to our students and the department for more than 60 years. He was one of the most beloved members of the Berkeley Physics community and his service and impact cannot be overstated. He will be deeply missed and I am grateful to have had him as a colleague. "

~Steve Boggs, Physics Department Chair

I was a Berkeley undergraduate 1973-1975.  Prof. Shugart was very inspirational and changed my course of interest from PreMed/Chemistry to Physics.  One of the best instructors of Physics I have ever had, which includes graduate school at the California Institute of Technology.  

~Elliott Brown

"Howard will be remembered always as someone who treated everyone, whether students or staff, with kindess and gentleness."

~Peter Yu

"Howard was a kind and generous friend as well as a helpful and thoughtful colleague. I will miss him terribly."

~Richard Marrus

"Howard will continue to guide many through memory of his devotion to research and teaching, and of his vast kindness."

~Michael Prior

"Howard not only was a well known scientist, but also a dear friend, whom I will miss."

~Horst Schmidt-Böcking

"My wife and I had the privilege and honor of spending a few hours talking with Dr. Shugart in Kailua Kona."

~John and Akemi Ackert

"While in my first years as a graduate student (2002-2004) and sharing a vast office in the old fourth floor of Old Leconte, although I did not know professor Shugart personally, he once knocked at the door and requested to look around. I was alone in the office at the time.  He explained that this large space had once been his lab and went on to describe in detail, and with a reminiscing passion, where and what each of his apparatus had been and how the various necessary lab supplies and byproducts had been channeled between the ground floor and his lab.

Today I do not remember the details of his descriptions but the enthusiasm of professor Shugart’s descriptions still reverberate.  It was an insight and a virtual visit to a lab of bygone times, to its intricacies, its layout, hopes and goals, and what it entailed to be an experimentalist, which, after long consideration, based on this and other encounters with other labs, I later chose to become.

This encounter, gave me a clearer realization that today’s continuing research is built on his and others’ similar research and work.  Thank you, professor Shugart, for offering me that personal time."

~Eric Corsini

"I took undergrad physics from Prof. Shugart.  His enthusiasm and real desire to excite students was remarkable, and his generosity with his time (for freshmen!) was unlike any professor I've had since.  I enjoyed watching Feynman lecture videos during his office hours, and he even took us up to LBL to see the particle accelerators one time.  Who does that for kids?  Amazing man."

~Dylan Chivian

"Prof. Shugart was, and will always remain, an exceptional person in my life. While I was still an undergraduate, I came to Berkeley for a summer, and with his guidance we carried out an experiment on the 60-inch cyclotron. The experiment revealed a new isotope, In-106, which was pretty heady for an undergraduate. We planned to complete the work the following summer, but a group from UCLA produced, identified, and published the isotope. This experience gave me a feeling for physics research that carried through my entire career. Whatever I saw him, even decades later, he graced me with his smile and greeting. His attitude toward me, and everyone else that I knew, was of respect and pleasure at the relationship. I was enriched by him, as were so many others."

~Robert Schmieder

"In 1957 I served as a high school student summer laboratory intern to Howard Shugart.  He was a wonderful mentor and role model. With his guidance I became a finalist in the 17th annual Westinghouse Science Talent Searh. I owe a great deal to Howard for setting me on a course to a satisfying career in higher education."

~Rodney C. Kirk

I took undergrad quantum physics 5E from Prof Shugart in 1975 and loved the course. He was like a magician with his lab demos in the lectures! But I was always so impressed by his kindness. He must be one of the nicest men on the planet ever.

I then worked for him one summer building magnetic shim cools for an atomic beam and programming a PDP-11 for adjusting the currents for the magnets. He told me he had read the PDP manual several times himself - which struck me to his dedication to detail.

Our world needs more men like Howard.

~Jim Ballingall