Baylor Mourns Death Of Longtime Physics Professor

Feb. 25, 2005
News Photo 2570Dr. Darden Powers

by Judy Long

Dr. Darden Powers, Baylor University physics professor and former chair of the physics department, died Feb. 24, 2005, in Waco at the age of 72.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Chapel at 6101 Bosque Blvd., and burial will follow at Waco Memorial North. Visitation will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey.

Memorials can be made to the Baylor department of physics or Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Dr. B.F.L. Ward, current chair of the physics department, said Powers will be missed.

"Over more than 40 years of dedicated service, Dr. Powers made monumental contributions to the physics department, the University and our students, where I note his key role in the creation of our Ph. D. program, just to cite one of many outstanding contributions. Personally, having arrived only in 2003 as chair, he has been indispensable to me as a Christian friend and in guiding the department towards its Vision 2012 goals. We will miss him in ways that words cannot begin to describe," he said.

Dr. Truell Hyde, physics professor and vice provost for research, has known Powers since 1978. "Dr. Powers was the mainstay of the department of physics for a long time. He was one of the early driving forces behind establishing Baylor as a research university, even acting as dean of the graduate school at one time."

Powers worked as a research assistant at Caltech for four years before joining the Baylor faculty in 1961. His research interests were low-energy physics and solid state physics. At Baylor, in addition to research and teaching, he directed the Van der Graaf Accelerator Lab from 1964-2005, served as director of graduate studies from 1976-93, acting dean of the Graduate School from 1996-98 and chair of the physics department from 1993-2003.

Powers was voted Outstanding University Professor in 1984 and served on the faculty senate and in other capacities in his years at Baylor. He was a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church and is survived by his wife, Patricia, a daughter, Susan, sons, John, David and Peter, and eight grandchildren.

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