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Myrl C. Hendershott - Diamond Jubilee Outstanding Alumnus
Bachelor of Science - 1958 - Physics
Lander, Wyoming, is certainly a lovely community, but can scarcely claim any ocean front property. It can claim one of the country's outstanding oceanographers. Myrl Hendershott was raised in Lander and came to the University in 1954 at the age of fourteen to study physics. According to his teacher, professor emeritus Burton Muller, "During his years at UW, he managed his precocious talents incredibly well, quietly earning As in tough courses, making friends with his college peers, and playing the organ at St. Matthew's Cathedral."
Hendershott was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Harvard, where he earned Master and Doctorate degrees in physics. In 1965, he accepted a position at the University of California/San Diego's Scripps Institute of Oceanography, one of the world's premier research institutions. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow from 1967-69. In recognition of his distinguished work in physical sciences associated with the sea, he was awarded the 1972 W.B. Wood Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics. Now a full professor at Scripps, he serves on significant research panels in the world. For example, he worked with a consulting group to provide advice on how to save the city of Venice from the sea. He currently serves on the Physical Oceanography Panel of the National Research Council's Committee to Review the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program. Results of his studies in oceanography have appeared in numbers of scientific journal articles and book chapters. Burton Muller recalls an incident from Hendershott's days at UW: "He and the other physics majors persuaded me to participate in a noon bicycle race around Prexy's Pasture. After I scolded them for not showing up to cheer me on, they appeased me with a record of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Hendershott's choice, no doubt."