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Astronomer Yervant Terzian honored with room dedication

“Great scientist, teacher, leader and friend,” reads the plaque on the newly named Terzian Conference Room on the sixth floor of the Spaces Sciences Building, unveiled in a ceremony Aug. 31. The Friends of Astronomy named the room in honor of Yervant Terzian, the Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus, “in recognition of his many years of leadership, scholarship and citizenship to Cornell.”

Dedication speakers described Terzian’s extensive role in building the Department of Astronomy in his 20 years as chair, literally and figuratively: The original Space Sciences Building had only four stories.

Terzian is known for his studies of stellar evolution and the discovery of regions of hydrogen gas between distant galaxies – a finding that indicated the presence of unseen matter in intergalactic space. He is the author or co-author of more than 235 scientific publications and the editor of seven books, including “Carl Sagan’s Universe.”

Terzian “is an astronomer’s best friend, because advancing knowledge by advancing careers is second nature for him,” said Friends of Astronomy member Chuck Mund Jr. ’81. “The eminent humanity of his support for scientists and science gives us all cause to celebrate.”

Added Jonathan Lunine, the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science: “He was always thinking of new and creative ways to make astronomy better at Cornell and also to make astronomy better as a national and international endeavor.”

- Linda B. Glaser

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli