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Alumni E-News

Alumni E-News is DePauw's monthly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends, featuring news of campus and alumni events.

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 Reflections on a Vintage DePauw Eclipse Experiment

On April 8, a solar eclipse will grace Greencastle and the DePauw University campus as the path of totality crosses the globe. Not so many years ago in 1970, several students and faculty members were also preparing for a total solar eclipse in true DePauw fashion – through critical thinking, applied science, collaboration, and ingenuity.

Steve Koob ’71 was one of the students who worked under physics professor Paul Kissinger and mathematics professor Joseph Corbett to build a 30-foot parabolic wooden dish reflector to capture radio signals emanating from the sun during the total solar eclipse. Koob, who had skipped a few grades in school to enter as a 16-year-old first-year student, followed his music major brother to DePauw.  His interest was in becoming an archaeologist, but that didn’t deter him from pursuing several other passions and curiosities, including a love of astronomy.

When he found out about the project to construct the radio dish reflector during Winter Term, the Greek and Latin major jumped at the chance to participate and became one of the main contributors. Other students involved in the project were Wally Hunt ’70, Bob Reiner ’70, and Joe Ting ’70.

There was such a buzz on campus about the project, even the Air Force ROTC program director, Lt. Col. Bill Hendrickson, got involved and arranged for the transport of the disassembled reflector, faculty, and students via a military C-47 aircraft to Seymour-Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where the experiment would unfold. The Air Force also became a critical partner in the process of unloading and reassembling the reflector.

The objective of the project was to create a radio map of the sun’s surface. According to Professor Corbett, the project succeeded on March 9, 1970, in recording the moments at which three different sunspots were covered and uncovered as the moon obscured the sun’s surface, the instant at which totality occurred, and the moment at which eerie “shadow bands” swept across the Air Force base and the baseball field where the dish was erected.

“It was really a terrific adventure. There's nothing in your life that is the same as seeing a total eclipse of the sun,” Koob said from his home in New York where he has been the Chief Conservator for the Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s largest glass museum.

Throughout his career, at the Smithsonian Institution and later the Corning Museum of Glass, Steve worked extensively in archaeological conservation, spending most of his summers for 30 years on archaeological sites in Greece and Turkey. He says his career was certainly initiated and directed by his studies in the Classics Department at DePauw.

Since his retirement in 2020, he is now Chief Conservator Emeritus. He has also volunteered his expertise on archeological glass conservation in Lisbon, Portugal, and Beirut, Lebanon, where he helped recover the archaeological glass damaged in the 2020 harbor explosion.

For additional insight to his expertise, we noted some years back in the DePauw Magazine that he published a book, Care and Conservation of Glass Objects, 2006, Archetype Books, in Association with the Corning Museum of Glass.

This April 8, he plans to stay close to home, where he can see the total eclipse, just an hour away in Geneseo, New York.

Letter From John CLarke, School of Business and Leadership Dean

John ClarkeEarlier this month on October 4-5, DePauw celebrated the dedication and launch of the university’s new School of Business and Leadership. The new school aims to support the educational experience of every student at DePauw by building collaborations from academic departments to Greek Life, from Athletics to student government and more. We are taking a holistic approach to integrate the school throughout the DePauw learning journey in order to produce high-value, distinctive educational experiences for every student.

Business education is not new to DePauw, the Economics Department was founded in 1912 and became the Economics and Management Department in the same year that the Management Fellows program was launched in 1980. The McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship was officially dedicated in 1998. The new school builds from these established strengths and innovative programs with a long and proven track record of success.

As we strive to develop leaders the world needs, it is important to note that DePauw already has many of the raw materials required for success:

  • Exceptional, talented faculty leading small, innovative classes that push students and provide individualized learning;

  • Engaged alumni and industry connections keeping us relevant to the fast-paced changes of industry and providing critical internships and fulltime employment opportunities;

  • Centers, institutes, and programs that provide high value curricular and cocurricular opportunities focused in leadership, ethics, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, sustainability, and career preparedness;

  • Tailorable educational pathways that allow students to customize their education based on their interests, passions, and talents; and

  • Smart, engaged, motivated students looking to unlock their potential.

I am humbled and honored to be the inaugural dean of the school, and I am compelled to recognize the significant contributions of alumni, donors, faculty, and staff. Collectively they have built the strong foundation on which the new School of Business and Leadership now sits.  

Some of you were able to join us on campus for the School of Business and Leadership Launch Lecture with Jon Fortt ’98, Steve Sanger ’68, and Jeff Ubben. The lecture was filmed and is available here. This event represents the kinds of initiatives that the school will bring to the DePauw community. For example, this fall the school is launching a flagship yearlong Sanger Leadership initiative, “Conversations with Women Leaders.”In partnership with the Women’s Center and in collaboration with the McDermond Center, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, DePauw Athletics, the Prindle Institute for Ethics, and Women in Economics and Business, we will curate a series of inspiring conversations with campus communities. The program will include panel discussions, campus visits, workshops, interviews, podcasts, and curated conversations. The initiative will culminate during the 20th anniversary celebration of the Women’s Center in fall 2024.

Looking to the future, the School of Business and Leadership will create DePauw graduates who are agile learners, self-aware, able to work effectively in diverse situations, comfortable in ambiguous contexts, able to solve complex problems, develop and assess competing solutions, make responsible decisions, and communicate effectively. Through the business experience at DePauw our students graduate with an earned and justified confidence.


John F. Clarke, Ph.D., MBA

Dean, School of Business and Leadership

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