Andrew J. Graham

Andy Graham Andy Graham with Student Bike Wheel Demo
Andy Graham and Matt Lawson
Pam and Andy Graham


We are very sorry to announce that Dr. Andrew (Andy) J. Graham, Jr., passed away on Saturday, March 29, 2008, after a lengthy battle with cancer.  His death casts a deep shadow over this department, as he was not only an integral part of the staff and a great friend to us all, but also a mentor to countless students who worked in the labs with him.  He will be missed more than we can say. 

Andy came to ASU as a student in physics and an employee in housekeeping in 1966.  He earned both Bachelor's (physics) and Master's (mathematics) degrees from ASU and went on to receive a Ph.D. from Wake Forest University in theoretical physics.  He served for more than twenty-six years in the laboratories of this department, with the final title of Director of Laboratories.  He made the operations of the laboratories for all our physics courses possible as well as teaching many sections himself.  He was the driving force behind the development of our physics demonstration outreach program, where representatives from the department perform exciting physics experiments for area schoolchildren, educating them and interesting them in physics.  In his work in the physics laboratory and demo program, he was a role model and inspiration to many students and motivated a number to go on into teaching or physics demonstration work. As a member of the faculty, he was our chief mathematician—the one to whom his colleagues turned for help with the most complicated calculations.  Furthermore, he advised many undergraduate research projects involving both physics and mathematics.  He is survived by his wife, Pamela Wheatley Graham (pictured above far right), also a graduate of our program.

Through Andy’s connection with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and its journal The Physics Teacher magazine, where he was associate editor for four years, he contributed significantly to the physics education community outside of ASU.  He was one of the founders of the Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA), and he created and moderated the Teaching Apparatus Listerv (TAP-L).

Andy was an outstanding colleague, an excellent scholar, and a wonderful friend.  He worked tirelessly for us and for our students, and he kept us smiling with his great sense of humor and incisive opinions.  We were very fortunate to have had such a fine man with us for so long.  Losing Andy leaves a big vacuum in our department and in our hearts.