Annual Events

Reunion Homecoming and Annual Reception

Each fall, undergraduate and graduate alumni of the Physics Department are invited to attend a special physics alumni reunion reception on the Stanford campus during Reunion Homecoming Weekend. The 2021 reception will be held on Friday, October 22, 2021 from 5:30-6:30 PM in the Varian Physics lobby & outdoor patio.  Reunion attendees are required to complete a daily COVID-19 Health Attestation prior to arrival on campus.

This fun and free event takes place at Angell Field on campus. Jane Fairbank, Bill's widow, was the official starter for the race. The winner of this event is traditionally the runner, walker, or bicyclist whose actual time is (fractionally) closest to his or her predicted time. All finishers of the event receive certificates, and the winners' names are engraved on a plaque displayed in the Varian Physics conference room.

Each year the Stanford Physics Dept. organizes the Bunyan Lecture, named for James T. Bunyan (1898-1977), a member of the Hoover Institution and a scholar of Russian/Soviet history, whose will specified that his estate endow lectures that inquire into our "changing vision of the cosmos and of human destiny as revealed in the latest discoveries in the fields of astronomy and space exploration." The Astronomy program has the full list of previous Bunyan Lectures.

The Hanna Visiting Professorship honors nuclear physicist Stanley S. Hanna (1920 – 2012), who was born in Sagaing, Burma into a missionary family. Stan earned his BA at Denison University in Ohio, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University were interrupted by a year in the US Army at Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II, after which he completed his PhD in physics under Gerhard Dieke.

The Robert Hofstadter Memorial lectures were established in 1993 by the Stanford Physics Department.  The lectures traditionally focus on one or more of the four main areas of physics that the late Prof. Hofstadter pursued in his career:  high-energy particle physics, high-energy astrophysics, particle detectors and medical physics.  Each year, an eminent speaker is invited to give an evening lecture followed by an afternoon colloquium.