Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J. Annual Lecture
History of the Coyne Lecture Series
The lecture series was established in 2005 through a generous donation by Mrs. Mercedes Hurley Hughes, Alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences and Marquette Trustee Emerita. Mrs. Hughes established the endowment for this lecture series and has enabled us to share the excitement of astronomy with the Marquette Community. The lecture series honors the Reverend George V. Coyne, Society of Jesus (S. J.). As director of the Vatican Observatory, Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J. led a team of Jesuit astronomers in conducting cutting-edge astronomical research and in developing new telescopes and other instrumentation for studying the cosmos.
The Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J. Annual Lecture in Astronomy and Astrophysics honors the tradition of excellence in research exemplified by the Rev. Coyne by bringing an outstanding astronomer or astrophysicist to the Marquette campus to give a public lecture explaining their research. The Coyne lecturer is selected annually by faculty members of the Physics Department.
The Coyne Lecturers
- Br. Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation to Marquette. April 12, 2023: "Your God is Too Small"
- Laura Cadonati, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology. February, 18, 2020: "Seeing with New Eyes: Exploring the Universe with Gravitational Waves"
- John Mather, Ph.D., Senior Project Scientist, John Webb Space Telescope, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA. October 24, 2017: "The History of the Universe from the beginning to the end: where did we come from, where can we go?"
- John Spencer, Ph.D., Institute Scientist, Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. September 29, 2016: "New Horizons Explores the Pluto System"
- Francis Halzen, Ph.D., Principal Investigator for IceCube; Physics Professor at UW-Madison. October 1st, 2015: "Dance of the Fertile Universe: Chance and Destiny Embrace." Listen to his radio interview with WUWM
- Rev. George V. Coyne, S. J., Ph.D., Former Director of the Vatican Observatory; LeMoyne College. October 24, 2014: "Dance of the Fertile Universe: Chance and Destiny Embrace" Listen to his radio interview with WUWM
- Harvey Tananbaum, Ph.D., Director of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. September 19, 2013: "Highlights from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory"
- David Latham, Ph.D., Senior Astronomer at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. April 9, 2013: "Super Earths and Life" Listen to the Radio Interview on WUWM’s Lake Effect, aired June 6, 2013
- Joseph Taylor, Ph.D., Professor of Physics at Princeton University and Nobel Prize Winner. October 23, 2012: "Binary Pulsars and Relativistic Gravity"
- Anne Kinney, Ph.D., Director, Solar System Exploration Division, Goddard Space Flight Center NASA. November 11, 2010: “The Wet Solar System”
- Ray Arvidson, Ph.D., Washington University - October 30, 2009. “MARS Current & Past Environments and the Likelihood for Life.”
- J. Craig Wheeler, Ph.D., University of Texas - October 23, 2008: "Exploding Stars in an Accelerating Universe" Watch the video of the Coyne Lecture. Listen to the Radio Interview on WUWM’s Lake Effect, aired Nov. 6, 2008.
- James Gates, Ph.D., University of Maryland. February 28, 2008: "SUSY and the Lords of the Ring: Supersymmetry Theory" Listen to the Radio Interview on WUWM’s Lake Effect, aired March 4 2008.
- Edward W. (Rocky) Kolb, Ph.D., Director of the Particle Astrophysics Center at Fermilab - January 30, 2007: "The Quantum and the Cosmos" Listen to the Radio Interview on WUWM’s Lake Effect, aired Feb. 26, 2007.
- Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J., Ph.D. April 26, 2006: "Dance of the Fertile Universe: Chance and Destiny Embrace"
Mrs. Mercedes Hurley Hughes
We offer our thanks to Mrs. Mercedes Hurley Hughes for her friendship and generosity to the Marquette Community.
Mrs. Hughes was a native of Cleveland, Ohio. While working for the U.S. State Department in Ankara, Turkey, she met and married her husband, Colonel John Bell Hughes (deceased) who was serving as a military attaché. Col. Hughes received a graduate degree in physics from the University of Virginia, so we proudly claim Mercedes as a physicist by marriage. John and Mercedes Hughes had four children. Mrs. Hughes called Tucson, Arizona, the "astronomy capital of the world" home for many years. She was member emeritus of the Marquette University Board of Trustees and of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Col. and Mrs. Hughes became life-long friends of Father Coyne while he served on the Astronomy Department faculty at the University of Arizona, and through his work in local parishes and at the Univ. of Arizona's Newman Center.
Photo: Mrs. Hughes (center) and her sister Georgia Hurley Kurz greet Bishop Emeritus Norbert Dorsey of Orlando. (Picture courtesy of the Florida Catholic by Valeta Orlando)