Rev. George V. Coyne, S.J. Annual Lecture

History of the Coyne Lecture Series

CoyneThe 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

Mrs. Mercedes Hurley Hughes

MercedesWe 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)