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Memoir

Reynolds M. Denning
Regents' Proceedings 916

The University community mourns the sudden death of Reynolds Connel Denning, Professor of Mineralogy, on the first of November. His death at the age of fifty-one has deprived this institution of a gifted research scientist and his colleagues of an unfailingly helpful and courteous friend.

Professor Denning was schooled in Rochester, New York, and was graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1939. His subsequent professional and academic experience comprehended three years as a geologist for the Patino Mines in Bolivia and seven years of teaching at his alma mater in Houghton. There, he received a Master of Science degree in 1949, after which he embarked upon graduate studies at The University of Michigan. Three years later he came here permanently, as an assistant professor of mineralogy, to teach and to pursue research in crystal hardness. Earning his doctorate in 1953, he was advanced to Associate Professor in 1956 and to Professor in 1961.

His special interests were abrasive hardness and the optical qualities of crystals. In recent years he inquired also into the physical properties of diamonds, especially as those were made discoverable by neutron bombardment. In all these fields he was coming into full national and international prominence. Modest and unassuming though he was, fame was beginning to court him.

Like many dedicated specialists, Professor Denning was versatile in his capabilities. His bent for new techniques and instruments proved generally serviceable within his Department. It was in his nature, furthermore, to lend his special gifts freely to colleagues and students. He was hence both professionally valued and personally esteemed. His early death has left an enduring void in the programs of his Department and in the hearts of those associated with him.

The Regents of the University are themselves saddened as they take cognizance of this worthy life cut short. And they join his colleagues in expressing to Mrs. Denning and his son their sincerest sympathy and their respectful gratitude for all that Professor Denning stood for and was.