Homer L. Dodge History

Homer Levi Dodge (1887-1983) was an especially significant leader among a number of college and university professors within the American Physical Society (APS) who recognized that concerns for the teaching of physics were not receiving necessary attention within any portion of the U.S. physics community.

Homer L. Dodge Leadership in Forming AAPT
In the fall of 1930, a small group of physics professors, Paul E. Klopsteg, William S. Webb, and Marshall. N. States, who planned to attend a December joint APS/AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) meeting in Cleveland Ohio, generated a list of 30 colleagues to be invited to attend an informal luncheon conference dealing with physics teaching. The meeting was to be at the Cleveland Club, but not associated with the APS/AAAS meeting.  The meeting planners agreed that Webb should ask Professor Homer L. Dodge (Dean of the University of Oklahoma School of Engineering Physics) to chair the Cleveland Club meeting. A second founding meeting was to occur the next day at Case School of Applied Science (Now part of the Case Western Reserve University).

Cleveland Club Meeting
On December 30 of 1930 the initial meeting occurred at the Cleveland Club. The following motion was made.

Klopsteg Motion
“that there be organized an informal association of those interested in the teaching of physics; that officers be elected who shall remain in office for one year; that a committee be established for the purpose of preparing the plans for formal organization: that these things be done without prejudice toward any possible approach from other organizations or societies looking toward affiliation.”

First formal selection of officers and committees
Following the unanimous adoption of the motion the following officers were chosen: Homer L. Dodge as President, Paul T. Klopsteg as Vice-President, and William S. Webb as Secretary-Treasurer. With the concurrence of the group, Dodge then appointed the following executive committee members to serve with the officers: Oswald H. Blackwood, Prof Ralph S. Minor, Dr. Marshall N. States, and Dr. B. A. Wooten.  Before the week was over, Dodge took the initiative in recruiting Karl T. Compton (of MIT) and Floyd K. Richtmyer (of Cornell University) to become members.  Both were influential members of the American Physical Society and as members of the new AAPT Executive Committee played a strong role in ensuring that AAPT would be recorded as one of the founding member organizations of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) at its inception.

Case School of Applied Science Meeting December 31, 1930
The second meeting was held in room 78 of the physics building of the Case School of Applied Science.  The constitution and by-laws were approved, and members attending were given the opportunity to sign the charter as charter members. Twenty-five members became charter members.

AAPT Founders
Homer L. Dodge and a number of his physicist colleagues are properly recognized as the founders of the AAPT.