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November 13, 2006

University of Chicago awards honorary degree to astronomer Sandra Faber

By Tim Stephens

The University of Chicago has awarded an honorary D.Sc. degree to Sandra Faber, University Professor and chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Faber received the degree at a ceremony on October 27 during the inauguration of Robert J. Zimmer as president of the university.

Photo of Sandra Faber

Sandra Faber

At the inauguration ceremony, Zimmer presented honorary degrees to Faber and six other scholars. In honoring Faber, the University of Chicago recognized her accomplishments in observational astronomy, particularly in the field of galaxy formation and evolution, as well as her leadership in the design and construction of the DEIMOS spectrograph, one of the most powerful instruments of the Keck 10-meter telescopes.

The following citation accompanies the degree:

"Sandra M. Faber's achievements have motivated a wide range of inquiry on the nature of dark matter in the Universe, the formation of galaxies with their populations of stars, and the evolution of galaxies observed at early cosmic epochs. Her work has profoundly shaped the modern view of galaxy formation and has inspired a generation of astronomers."

Faber has also received honorary degrees from Swarthmore College and Williams College. Her many other honors include Harvard's Bok Prize, the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, and election to the American Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. In 1995, she was appointed University Professor, the highest honor for faculty in the UC system.

Faber earned a B.A. in physics at Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University. She joined the UCSC faculty in 1972.

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