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Henry Russel Lecturer

David M. Dennison
The Michigan Alumnus 178

'24, was a student at the University when the Henry Russel lecture
ship was first established. Each year
 since that time the highly prized lec
tureship has been awarded to the fac
ulty member adjudged to have achieved 
the highest distinction in his chosen 
field of scholarship.

Last month Professor Dennison, who
 has earned an international reputation 
for his work in molecular structure,
 was named as the 27th Henry Russel 

Son of a Michigan faculty member, 
 the late Walter Dennison, who taught 
Latin at the University from 1897 to
1899 and from 1902 to 1910, Professor 
Dennison was born in Oberlin, Ohio, 
and received a bachelor's degree from
 Swarthmore College. 

He joined the University faculty in
1927, beginning as an instructor. His 
work won early attention and he was 
promoted rapidly, achieving a full pro
fessorship in physics in 1935. His work 
in theoretical physics preceded impor
tant assignments in World War II. 
 After war broke out he joined with a 
Department of Physics colleague, Professor H. R. Crane, in working on the 
theoretical aspects of the performance
 of the radio proximity fuse.

Later they divided the work, Pro
fessor Dennison diverting his attention 
to preparing recommendations for 
naval gunnery officers for the best pos
sible tactical use of the fuse. His task 
involved study of actual battle reports 
in order to determine the effectiveness 
of the fuse and methods in which its 
use could be improved. For this work,
 he received a Certificate for Excep
tional Service to Naval Ordnance Development.

After the war Professor Dennison returned to his work in molecular structure, although he also gave a help
ing hand to Professor Crane in the 
theoretical calculations for the University's 300,000,000 electron-volt syn
chrotron, which made use of a new
 design for atomic experiments. 

Professor Dennison will deliver the
 Henry Russel lecture next spring. At that time the Henry Russel Award will 
be given to a member of the faculty
 with the rank of instructor or assistant 
professor. Both the lectureship and the 
award were endowed by the late Henry 
Russel, '73, A.M.74, '751, of Detroit.