Raymond Burkert Sawyer, Class of 1921, referenced in oral history interview

An Oral History Interview with Raymond Sawyer, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has been published by the American Institute of Physics.

He is the son of Raymond Burkert Sawyer, Ripon College Class of 1921. In the interview, Sawyer talks briefly about his father. He says his parents met in the “teeny” town of Rochester, Wisconsin. “That was a farming town and my mother grew up on a farm and my father was the son of the minister of the teeny congregational church there. … My father, with that upbringing in a nearly penniless household and going to the local schools in Wisconsin, did go to college. He went to Ripon College because that was something that congregational ministers’ sons could do free and with support at that time. And he majored in physics in there, amazingly.”

Raymond Burkert Sawyer was a graduate of Waterford (Wisconsin) High School. At Ripon, he was a member of Y.M.C.A. and president his senior year; Glee Club; and Phi Kappa Pi/Merriman. He was a fellow in psychology and an assistant in the physics department. He received advanced degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Chicago and went on to teach in various places around the country. He died in 1990.

(Photo: Raymond Burkert Sawyer, Class of 1921, in his senior photo)

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Raymond Burkert Sawyer '21


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