May 02 2011


James Jacobs

On August 20, 2011, Professor James Jacobs passed away at his family home in Missoula.

A fund has been established to honor Professor Jacobs, who retired from the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy in May 2011 after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in the fall of 2006. Dr. Jacobs was an inspirational, award-winning experimental physicist who devoted himself to student learning and achievement for nearly two decades. Dr. Jacobs worked tirelessly over the years to help develop and improve the department's upper division physics and astronomy laboratory courses that provide memorable, hands-on learning for physics majors. It has always been his wish to have an endowed fund to keep the experiments for these courses up-to-date and relevant.


The James Jacobs Memorial Advanced Laboratory Fund will honor his life's work. After the initial announcement of the fund in June, a generous donor pledged to match $10,000 in gifts to the fund. After his passing, another generous donor pledged a $5,000 matching gift.  To date, the fund has grown to over $30,000.  The Department hopes to raise a total of $50,000.  His colleagues and former students are counting on contributions from others to help with the additional funds necessary to establish the endowment he envisioned.

"Jim was so excited about all that can be accomplished with this fund," said Andrew Ware, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  "He was always so focused on his students and he knew that improving and maintaining the three upper division laboratory courses on an ongoing basis was the legacy he wanted to leave behind."

Read the article in the Missoulian.

Help honor Dr. Jacobs and his dream by making a charitable contribution to The James Jacobs Memorial Advanced Laboratory Fund by completing the form below.