• Packard Physics to return this spring

    The Pack is BackIf you attended Baylor in the last 50 years or so, chances are that you took “Packard Physics” — the introductory physics course for non-science majors taught by the legendary Dr. Robert Packard.

    Honored as one of Baylor’s select Master Teachers in 1990 and voted the Collins Outstanding Professor by the senior class in 2001, Packard retired in 2002 after teaching at Baylor for 50 years. But this spring, “The Pack is Back,” as flyers around the Baylor Sciences Building report. After six years away from the classroom, Packard will again teach one section of Physics 1405 next semester.

    It’s said that a quarter of all Baylor alumni had Packard as a professor, which sounds about right. But then, when I was a student, it was also said that Packard was a top government official (perhaps CIA) who, should a national crisis arise, would be whisked away by helicopter to a top-secret location.

    Regardless, for half a century, spending a semester in “Packard Physics” was kind of a rite of passage here — an experience students shared with a good percentage of the other students at Baylor. I’m certainly glad I was able to enjoy his physics demonstrations and good humor for a few months, and I’m glad the students who take his class this spring will get to benefit from his talents, as well — as perhaps their parents and even grandparents did.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Packard!

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