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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Mrs. Jennings' Wooden Leg

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Not for the faint of heart, it's a rite of passage for graduating doctoral candidates in experimental physics. The "leg," located in the machine shop in the Physics Building is actually a 12 and-1/2-foot tall wooden beam adorned with brass plaques engraved with the names of those who have earned their doctoral degrees in SU's physics department over the past five decades.

The story goes that when the physics department was located in Steele Hall, the floor under Mrs. Jennings' desk began to sag. Some say it was the heavy safe that was installed nearby. Others think it was the desk. At any rate, the beam was placed at a strategic location to prevent the floor from collapsing.

After the program's first doctoral can­didates in experimental physics defended their dissertations In 1951, they and their colleagues gathered around the beam and celebrated as candidates Erich Harth and Robert G. Luce climbed it, placed a "greasy thumbprint" on the ceiling and then screwed to the post a brass plaque engraved with their names and dissertation titles.

Every year since, the candidates have gathered around the beam, donned official lineman's safety gear belts and tool holders and gone climbing. The ritual is not formal and is done more as an impromptu party to celebrate the candidate's hard work. --from "Shinning Up Mrs. Jennings Wooden Leg is a Physics tradition", Syracuse record, May 19, 1997, author staff writer Judy Holmes.

Check for the brass plaques commemorating a successful doctoral degree from the SU Physics department, by plate in the table below.

Diagrams of the Beam and Photographs of the Leg:

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Name Firstname Date Plate
Huang Yinglei 9/20/96 1
Hofland John 2/1/65 2
Bratt Peter R. 1/8/65 3
Engelsrath Amos 8/7/64 4
Stannard Carl 11/19/63 5
Levitt Ralph 5/21/62 6
Hughes Floyd 5/21/62 7
Kastner Sidney O. 2/22/61 8
Stupp Edward H. 1/8/60 9
Mitchell Dean L. 5/18/59 10
Abbott Robert C. 4/20/59 11
Allen William T. 5/5/58 12
Russell Allan M. 5/1/57 13
Wei Xiangdong 12/16/94 14
Kime Yolanda J. 6/11/91 15
Pratap Promod 5/13/86 16
Byun Dongjin 1/3/95 17
Dong Mouqun 4/22/96 18
Lowenstein Max 2/1/65 19
Loewenstern Leroy 1/19/65 20
Pehek John 12/13/63 21
Zeiring Sigi 2/26/60 22
Sadowski Walter 2/26/60 22
Willis Charles 2/26/60 22
Gummel Herman 2/26/60 22
Girardeau Marvin 2/26/60 22
Weiss Volker 2/26/60 22
Levitas Alfred 2/26/60 22
Sachs Ranier 2/26/60 22
Rosenberg Roth 2/26/60 22
Hirshberg John 2/26/60 22
Jackson Edwin 2/26/60 22
Janis Allen 2/26/60 22
Engeler William E. 3/15/61 23
Stierwalt Donald L. 10/17/60 24
Goldberg Irwin 10/19/56 25
Lebowitz J.L. 10/19/56 25
Newman E.T. 10/19/56 25
Johnson Leo F. 5/8/59 26
Gu Qing 4/15/96 27
Yang George C. 11/6/64 28
Ellis Eric 6/1/65 29
Abkowitz Martin 5/6/64 30
Penchina Claude 12/3/63 31
Sanderson Richard 10/31/62 32
Johnston G.E. 12/29/61 33
Beyen Werner 10/24/61 34
Khare Bishun Narain 1/31/61 35
MacRae Alfred U. 12/16/59 36
Grove Richard E. 5/18/59 37
Levine Leonard P. 2/9/59 38
Miller Ralph J. 10/24/57 39
Stannard John 7/13/67 40
Crandell Merrell 6/19/67 41
Hart Francis X 6/16/67 42
Baer Ralph 4/17/67 43
Enck Rudolph 3/10/67 44
Marko John 1/26/67 45
Wrobel Joseph 12/22/66 46
Zehr Floyd 11/22/66 47
Stover Raymond 11/21/66 48
Murray Thomas E. 4/29/66 49
Barker Robert 1/17/66 50
Stocker Hans 8/12/65 51
Card Frederick E. 4/8/57 52
Teitler Sidney 11/2/56 53
Harned Boyd W. 10/16/56 54
Nadelhaft Irving 5/17/56 55
Silberg Paul A. 11/10/55 56
Zemel Jay 10/7/55 57
Froehlich Fritz E. 5/6/55 58
Hart Robert J. 1/11/55 59
Cholet Philip H. 5/19/54 60
Lasser Marvin E. 5/14/54 61
Lehmann William 3/5/54 62
Thomson Robb 3/5/54 62
Penfield Robert 3/5/54 62
Schiller Ralph 3/5/54 62
Goldberg Joshua 3/5/54 62
Zatzkis Henry 3/5/54 62
Anderson James 3/5/54 62
Marple Dudley T.F. 3/5/54 63
Braunstein Rubin 1/15/54 64
Broudy Robert M. 11/11/53 65
Silverman Searle J. 7/28/53 66
Kasnitz Harold L. 6/5/53 67
St. Clair Byron S. 5/20/53 68
Bode Donald E. 5/18/63 69
Rennert Joseph 9/30/52 70
Kofsky Irving L. 5/9/52 71
Swartz John C. 1/21/52 72
Harth Erich M. 11/9/51 73
Luce Robert G. 5/25/51 74
Jennings Frances H. 7/31/72 75
Shen Liyong 4/29/97 76
Fan Qun 3/31/97 77
Hwang Seong-Dong 10/11/96 78
Stauf Gregory 10/22/88 79
Li Wei 11/6/92 80
Li Dongqi 4/23/93 81
Kim Yoon-Gi 9/29/92 82
Lin Jingsu 12/6/94 83
Wang Qi 5/31/94 84
Mazurowski John 10/2/92 85
Alexander Neil B. 7/20/92 86
Conrad Kevin 1/18/88 87
Jiang Hongxiang 9/30/86 88
Trad Chafia 4/17/87 89
Unnikrishnan K.P. 5/13/87 90
Lee Jung-Keun 8/7/91 91
Parker Michael 9/7/88 92
Yucel Sermet 9/15/88 93
Zafar Sufi 11/2/90 94
Pandya Ranjana 8/15/85 95
Palit Anuradha 5/15/87 96
Lin Jingyu 2/10/89 97
Varma Shikha 1/16/90 98
Ece Muzeyyen 4/26/90 99
Gonzalez Gabriella 3/27/95 100
Kothari Ranjan 9/9/91 101
Sinha Supurna 5/4/92 102
Martel Hong Zeng 5/19/95 103
Mano Hiroyuki 2/27/78 104
Mahapatra Ameresh 10/20/77 105
Riley Kevin 6/30/77 106
Vanier Peter 10/29/76 107
Lanir Moshe 6/18/76 108
Rome Tovie 5/28/76 109
Braggins Timothy 11/12/65 110
Lu Chin-Chun 9/23/75 111
Paldino Albert M. 3/24/75 112
McCoy Robert J. 8/29/74 113
Davidoff Martin 6/7/74 114
Zhang Jiandi 1/28/94 115
Antoniadis Homer 11/25/91 116
Baum David M.C. 12/13/89 117
LaGraffe David 4/30/90 118
Lee Sun-Woo 12/15/92 119
van Hecke Hubert 4/16/85 120
Gentile Anthony 6/15/84 121
Pollock John 1/23/84 122
Reed Mark 11/4/83 123
Nouhi Akbar 4/14/82 124
Moroz Michael 1/29/82 125
Finette Steven 2/14/79 126
McGraw Michael F. 3/20/78 127
Nicholson Donald 6/20/73 128
Crowe Wayne 6/13/73 129
Lewis Owen 4/26/73 130
Reichmanis Maria 4/25/73 131
Goronkin Herbert 3/14/73 132
Brown David 3/9/73 133
Kostiuk Theodor 2/23/73 134
Lockwood Arthur 9/28/72 135
Bernardi Richard 5/18/72 136
Lovecchio Paul 10/8/71 137
Pertile Giancarlo 5/27/71 138
Lindsay Robert 5/26/71 139
Shulman Herman 3/18/71 140
Touw Theodor 12/11/70 141
Lagnado Nessim 12/3/70 142
Norton Paul 6/24/40 143
Giffen Wallace C. 12/16/69 144
Chia Paul S. 12/1/69 145
Hademenos Demetrios (Jim) 9/19/69 146
Beek Bruno 9/8/69 147
Anninos Photios A. 8/27/69 148
Renda Francis J. 7/8/69 149
Spadero Joseph A. 6/11/69 150
Finn Robert A. 6/6/69 151
Constantine James 5/23/69 152
Goldick Howard 4/22/69 153
Konigsberg Alvin 9/13/68 154
Golub Sherman L. 7/12/68 155
Thornton Donald D. 6/26/68 156
Marino Andrew A. 2/9/68 157
Maxwell Rober L. 9/11/67 158
Feldman Arnold 7/25/67 159
deGuzman Alan Francis 7/16/86 160
Driscoll Daniel 6/15/87 161
Benetatos Panyotis 9/19/00 162
Rao Prasanna 4/22/99 163
Lewis Aaron 6/1/99 164
Startin Willilam 2/11/00 165
Liu Chi 11/5/97 166
Wang Kaixuan 8/26/99 167
Jiang Lin 4/22/98 168
Gretarsson Andri 5/29/02 169
Zhu Kai 6/30/03 170
Liang Jianjun 12/11/06 171
Butt Jamila 5/22/06 172
Roser Joseph 12/6/04 173
Balakishiyeva Durdana 8/15/06 174
Josef Keith 11/16/05 175
Kittelberger Scott 9/29/04 176
Wang Weining 1/22/08 177
Hirose Eiichi 12/10/08 178
Adulrattananuwat Kwan 7/28/10 179
DeFeo Mike 7/12/12 180
Yu Kang 4/30/10 181
Reheman Abdureyimu 11/14/11 182
Hawkins Taviare 8/28/09 183
Kiveni Manungu 12/5/12 184
Niedzwiecki David 8/24/12 185
Cheneke Belete 5/1/13 186
Zhao Hui 6/14/13 187
Degaga Eleni 6/25/14 188
Lough James 9/2/14 189
Ware Matthew 12/15/14 190