Harnwell, G. P. (Gaylord Probasco), 1903-1982

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Physicist, college president, educator and author; B.S., Haverford College, (1924), M.A. and Ph.D., Princeton U., (1926, 1927); faculty, Princeton U., (1928-1938); faculty, Dept. of Physics, U. of Pennsylvania, (1938-1975); President, U. of Pennsylvania (1953-1970); notable for his research and writings in atomic and nuclear physics and acoustics as well as for his leadership in numerous civic, scientiFIC

and educational organizations and institutions.

From the description of Papers, 1913-1981. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122631016

Gaylord P. Harnwell was born in Evanston, Illinois, on September 29, 1903--the only child of Frederick William, a lawyer in Chicago, and Anna Jane Wilcox Harnwell. He received his secondary education at Evanston Township High School, and was graduated from Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, in 1924. He studied physics at Cambridge University, England, from 1924 to 1925 and later at Princeton University where he received his M.A. in 1926 and Ph.D. in 1927.

After his university training, Harnwell spent a year, 1927-1928, at the California Institute of Technology as a National Research Council Fellow before he returned to Princeton. He taught physics at Princeton from 1928 to 1938, first as assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 1936. In 1938, he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania as Professor of Physics, chairman of the Department of Physics, and director of the Randal Morgan Laboratory.

During World War II, Harnwell was called into governmental service and was granted a leave of absence from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1942 to 1946, he served as director of the University of California Division of War Research for the U.S. Navy Radio and Sound Laboratory, San Diego, California. For this service, Harnwell was awarded a Medal for Merit in March 1947. The citation that accompanied the Medal gave him credit "for the severing by submarines of the last sea route from Japan to the mainland of Asia" through "the work of preparing for the United States Navy certain special weapons and devices." His work, the citation continued, "contributed directly to the destruction of the enemy's ships and shore establishments, and thus to the victory."

After the end of the war, Harnwell returned to the University of Pennsylvania and continued his work at the Department of Physics until he was elected president of the University in 1953. The University underwent spectacular changes during the seventeen years of his presidency from 1953 to 1970. The campus was expanded, many new buildings erected, and all major areas and programs strengthened. His administration has been acclaimed as a new milestone in the history of the development of the University.

In addition to his Penn connections, Harnwell continued his services for the United States defense in the post-war years. He was chairman of the Ordnance Committee of the Research and Development Board of the Department of Defense (1951-1953), chairman of the Committee on Undersea Warfare of the National Research Council (1950-1955), elected to the Advisory Panel on Ordnance, Transport and Supply of the Department of Defense in 1950 and to the Advisory Board of the U. S. Navy Ordnance Laboratory (Silver Spring, MD) in 1953 and was a member of the Science Information Council of the National Science Foundation (1961-1965). In February 1958, he was appointed to a special advisory panel to the congressional Subcommittee on Military Applications of Atomic Energy. In September of the same year he received the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award for his contributions to the Navy in the field of scientific research and development.

Until assuming his duties as President of the University, Harnwell was editor of three prestigious publications in physics'--the "International Series in Pure and Applied Physics," published by McGraw-Hill Book Company, The Review of Scientific Instruments, and Physics Today.

He was author or co-author of many erudite books on physics, among them Principles of Electricity and Electromagnetism (1929), Experimental Atomic Physics (1936, with John J. Linvingood), Atomic Physics (1955, with William E. Stephens), and Physics: Energy, Matter, and the Universe (1967, with George J. F. Legge).

In 1958, Harnwell joined a number of other prominent American educators for a tour of the former Soviet Union. The American delegation visited many educational and research institutions in the U.S.S.R. He published Russian Diary in 1960. In the summers of 1960 and 1961, at the request of the government of Iran and under the auspices of the United States Department of State, Harnwell visited Iran. The delegation he led studied the feasibility of establishing an America-type university in the city of Shiraz. In 1962 he published his account of the tour in the book Educational Voyaging in Iran. Pahlavi University, the newly-established Iranian university, developed a strong academic relationship with Penn during the term of his administration.

Harnwell was member of many academic institutions, among them the American Physical Society, the Acoustical Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Newcomen Society of North America, and the National Education Association. He served as chairman of the American Council on Education from 1959 to 1960 and was a longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. From 1965 to 1966 he was the first chairman of the Council of Presidents of Universities Research Association, Inc. He served on the Board of Managers of Haverford College from 1964 to 1981.

Harnwell's activities and achievements went far beyond the educational and academic circles. He was extensively engaged in civic and governmental affairs. He helped organize the West Philadelphia Corporation, which he served as board chairman for eighteen years. He also played a leading role in organizing the University City Science Center. A major goal of these two institutional initiatives was to improve the West Philadelphia neighborhood. He was also actively involved with the Greater Philadelphia Movement as a member of its board, and served as co-chairman for a number of years.

In 1958 Harnwell became a member of the board of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and continued on that board until 1970. The next year he was elected chairman of the Board and president of the Penn Central Company. From 1965 to 1968, Harnwell also served as Public Governor of the New York Stock Exchange. Other directorships included the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, the First Pennsylvania Banking and Trust Company, the Philadelphia CARE Committee, Rore-Amchem, Inc., the United Fund of the Philadelphia Area, the Food Distribution Center Corporation, the National Society of Scabbard and Blade, and the Institute for Educational Management (Boston).

For government services, Harnwell served as chairman of Governor Scranton's Council of Science and Technology in 1963, was elected to Governor Shafer's Committee on Tax Administration in 1967, served as a member of the Governor's Tax Study and Revision Commission from 1967 to 1968, and member of the Commonwealth Priorities Commission (1968-1970).

He had honorary degrees from some thirty-four institutions of higher learning and was member of many honorary fraternities including Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Beta Alpha Psi, Sigma Tau Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega. In 1964, Harnwell was made Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Ivory Coast, and ten years later, won the title of Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In May, 1965, he received the 42nd annual Philadelphia Award.

After retiring from Penn presidency in 1970, Harnwell remained in service of the University for consultancy on development and planning, fund-raising and as an academic coordinator for the Penn-Pahlavi program. He also continued his contribution in civic and governmental services until he died in April, 1982.

From the description of Papers, 1889-1992 (bulk 1924-1982). (University of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 145429240

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf University of Pennsylvania. Office of the President. Correspondence with Johan Thorsten Sellin, 1949-1968. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Photographs, 1905-1994 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf University of Pennsylvania. Administration. Letters, 1950-1983, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Rittase, William M.,. Sperry Corporation photograph collection. Hagley Museum & Library
creatorOf Masefield, John, 1878-1967. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1956-1967. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf University of Pennsylvania. Educational Survey. Reports, 1953-1960. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Charles P. (Charles Pollard) Olivier correspondence, 1915-1962, 1915-1962 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000. Robert R. Wilson papers, 1936-2000. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 1898-1950 (bulk), 1898-1950 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Harnwell, G. P. (Gaylord Probasco), 1903-1982. Papers, 1889-1992 (bulk 1924-1982). University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
creatorOf Rhodes Scholarship Trust. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1903. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Howe, George, 1886-1955. George Howe papers, 1926-1974, (bulk 1926-1955). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Homer D. Crotty papers and addenda, 1859-2011 The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
creatorOf American Association for the Advancement of Science. Letters, 1948-1971, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Warren, S. Reid (Samuel Reid), 1908-. Papers, 1923-1991. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library.
creatorOf American Association for the Advancement of Science. Correspondence, 1971, from Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn University of Pennsylvania. University Relations. News and Public Affairs. Records, 1912-1993. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
creatorOf Harnwell, G. P. (Gaylord Probasco), 1903-1982. Papers, 1913-1981. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Rhoads, Jonathan E. Papers, 1802-2002 (bulk 1934-2002) University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Hastie, William, 1904-1976. Photographs, 1905-1994. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn Robert R. Wilson papers, 1936-2000. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abraham, Max, 1875-1922 person
associatedWith Amaldi, Edoardo, 1908-1989 person
associatedWith American Association for the Advancement of Science. corporateBody
associatedWith American Council on Education. corporateBody
associatedWith American Educational and Historical Film Center. corporateBody
associatedWith American Institute of Physics corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society and American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Andrade, E. N. da C., (Edward Neville da Costa), 1887-1971 person
associatedWith Angell, Donald K. person
associatedWith Arnold, William Edwin. person
associatedWith Associated Universities, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Association of American Medical Colleges. corporateBody
associatedWith Association of American Universities. corporateBody
associatedWith Back, Ernst, 1881-1959 person
associatedWith Bauer, Edmond, 1880-1963 person
associatedWith Becquerel, Jean, 1878-1953 person
associatedWith Benedicks, Carl Axel Fredrik, 1875-1953 person
associatedWith Berger, David. person
associatedWith Berliner, Arnold, 1862-1942 person
associatedWith Birge, Raymond T., (Raymond Thayer), 1887-1980 person
associatedWith Bohr, Niels Henrik David, 1885-1962 person
associatedWith Born, Max, 1882-1970 person
associatedWith Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981 person
associatedWith Broglie, Louis de, 1892-1987 person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. corporateBody
associatedWith Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967 person
associatedWith Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892-1962 person
associatedWith Condon, Edward U. person
associatedWith Congress of World Unity. corporateBody
associatedWith Coster, Dirk, 1889-1950 person
associatedWith Crotty, Homer D. person
associatedWith Darwin, Charles Galton, Sir, 1887-1962 person
associatedWith Day, William Lang. person
associatedWith Debye, Peter J. W., (Peter Josef William), 1884-1966 person
associatedWith Dieke, Gerhard Heinrich, 1901-1965 person
associatedWith Dirac, P.A.M.Epstein, P.S. person
associatedWith Dirac, P. A. M., (Paul Adrien Maurice), 1902-1984 person
associatedWith Eddington, Arthur Stanley, Sir, 1882-1944 person
associatedWith Ehrenfest, Paul, 1880-1933 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Eiseley, Loren C. person
associatedWith English-speaking Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954 person
associatedWith Fokker, A. D., (Adriaan Daniel), 1887-1972 person
associatedWith Fowler, A., (Alfred), 1868-1940 person
associatedWith Franck, James, 1882-1964 person
associatedWith Franklin Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Gerlach, Walther, 1889-1979 person
associatedWith Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham, 1902-1978 person
associatedWith Grammateis Organization. corporateBody
associatedWith Greater Philadelphia Movement. corporateBody
associatedWith Greater Philadelphia Movement (Pa.). corporateBody
associatedWith Greater Philadelphia Partnership. corporateBody
associatedWith Haber, Fritz, 1868-1934 person
associatedWith Haddonfield Art League. corporateBody
associatedWith Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Hastie, William, 1904-1976. person
associatedWith Haverford College. corporateBody
associatedWith Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Hetherston, John C. person
associatedWith Hilbert, David, 1862-1943 person
associatedWith Howe, George, 1886-1955. person
associatedWith In, Ho Oh. person
associatedWith Institute for Educational Management. corporateBody
associatedWith International House of Philadelphia. corporateBody
associatedWith Joliot-Curie, Frédéric person
associatedWith Jordan, Pascual, 1902-1980 person
associatedWith Kamerlingh Onnes, Heike, 1853-1926 person
associatedWith Kapitsa, P. L., (Petr Leonidovich), 1894-1984 person
associatedWith Kayser, H., (Heinrich), 1853-1940 person
associatedWith Kemble, Edwin C., (Edwin Crawford), 1889-1984 person
associatedWith Klein, Lawrence R. person
associatedWith Klein, Oskar, 1894-1977 person
associatedWith Kramers, Hendrik Anthony, 1894-1952 person
associatedWith Ku, Yu-hsiu. person
associatedWith Ladenburg, Rudolf Walter, 1882-1952 person
associatedWith Langevin, Paul, 1872-1946 person
associatedWith Larson, Mrs. Randell. person
associatedWith Laue, Max von, 1879-1960 person
associatedWith London, Fritz, 1900-1954 person
associatedWith Looby, Joseph T. person
associatedWith Loyola University of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith MacIntosh, Archibald. person
associatedWith Masefield, John, 1878-1967. person
associatedWith McLennan, J. C., (John Cunningham), 1867-1935 person
associatedWith Meitner, Lise, 1878-1968 person
associatedWith Meyerson, Martin. person
associatedWith Mie, Gustav, 1868-1957 person
associatedWith Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953 person
associatedWith Mulliken, Robert Sanderson, 1896-1986 person
associatedWith National Academy of Sciences Committee on Undersea Warfare. corporateBody
associatedWith National Research Council. corporateBody
associatedWith National Research Council. Committee on Undersea Warfare. corporateBody
associatedWith National Science Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Stock Exchange. corporateBody
associatedWith Nguyen, Thai Van. person
associatedWith Nichols, Jeannette. person
associatedWith Nichols, Roy F. person
associatedWith Nishina, Yoshio, 1890-1951 person
associatedWith Olivier, Charles P. (Charles Pollard), b. 1884 person
associatedWith Ono, Eisuke. person
associatedWith Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967 person
associatedWith Pahlavi University. corporateBody
associatedWith Paschen, F., (Friedrich), 1865-1947 person
associatedWith Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994 person
associatedWith Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958 person
associatedWith Penn Central Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania. Governor's Commission on Priorities. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Governor's Committee on Tax Administration Pennsylvania Tax Advisory Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania. Governor's Council of Science and Technology. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Governor's Priorities Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Governor's Tax Study and Revision Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania. Governor's Tax Study and Revision Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia Award. corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations. corporateBody
associatedWith Physics Today. corporateBody
associatedWith Planck, Max, 1858-1947 person
associatedWith Princeton University. corporateBody
associatedWith Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli. person
associatedWith Ravdin, I.S., 1894-1972. person
associatedWith Rhoads, Jonathan E. person
associatedWith Rhodes Scholarship Trust. corporateBody
associatedWith Rorer-Amchem, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenfeld, L., (Leon), 1904-1974 person
associatedWith Rosseland, Svein, 1894-1985 person
associatedWith Royal Society of Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Rubens, Heinrich, 1865-1922 person
associatedWith Runge, Carl, 1856-1927 person
associatedWith Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937 person
associatedWith Scheel, Karl, 1866-1936 person
associatedWith Schlekat, George A. person
associatedWith Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961 person
associatedWith Shen, Benjamin. person
associatedWith Sommerfeld, Arnold, 1868-1951 person
associatedWith Stark, Johannes, 1874-1957 person
associatedWith Stephens, William E. person
associatedWith Tai, En-shui. person
associatedWith Tandem Accelerator Lab. corporateBody
associatedWith Taylor, George W. person
associatedWith Thomson, J. J., Sir, (Joseph John), 1856-1940 person
associatedWith Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988 person
associatedWith Union League. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Department of Defense. Office of Ordnance Research. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Department of Defense. Research and Development Board. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Department of the Army. Ordnance Research and Development Advisory Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Department of the Navy. Naval Ordnance Laboratory Advisory Board. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Department of the Navy. Office of Research and Inventions. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Defense. Research and Development Board. Ordnance Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Naval Ordnance Laboratory. Advisory Board. corporateBody
associatedWith United World Colleges. corporateBody
associatedWith University City Science Center. corporateBody
associatedWith University City Science Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.). corporateBody
associatedWith University of California. Division of War Research. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Department of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of Physics corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Development Fund Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Educational Survey. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Foreign Policy Research Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. General Alumni Society. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. General Alumni Society. Alumni Award of Merit, corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Graduate School of Education. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Gazette. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Randal Morgan Laboratory. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. University Relations. News and Public Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Wharton School. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Vleck, J. H., (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Voigt, Woldemar, 1850-1919 person
associatedWith Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957 person
associatedWith Warburg, Emil Gabriel, 1846-1931 person
associatedWith Warren, S. Reid (Samuel Reid), 1908- person
associatedWith Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002 person
associatedWith West Philadelphia Community Free School. corporateBody
associatedWith West Philadelphia Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith West Philadelphia Corporation (Philadelphia, Pa.). corporateBody
associatedWith Widmann, R.L. person
associatedWith Williams, Edwin B. person
associatedWith Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000. person
associatedWith Wistar Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Yeshiva University. corporateBody
associatedWith Zeeman, Pieter, 1865-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Soviet Union
Iran
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Subject
Education
Physics--Research
Physics--Study and teaching (Higher)
Atomic physics--Study and teaching
Physics--Study and teaching
Education, higher
Universities and colleges--Administration
Optics--Study and teaching
Occupation
Physicists
College teachers
Function

Person

Birth 1903-09-29

Death 1982-04-18

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jw8g2g

Ark ID: w6jw8g2g

SNAC ID: 9917287