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Campus Currents May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Stamp of Approval

UC San Diego Nobel Laureate and founding faculty member Maria Goeppert Mayer appears on a new stamp issued in June by the U.S. Postal Service—one in a series that honors Americans who have made extraordinary contri­butions to science.

Mayer was one of only two women to ever win the Nobel Prize in physics—the other was Marie Curie. Although Mayer forged a distinguished career before coming to UC San Diego, she did so in unpaid positions. UCSD was the first institution to offer her a regular faculty position, in the physics department, when she was 54. Mayer, who was a member of the UCSD faculty from 1960 to 1970, died in 1972.

Mayer's papers—which include correspondence, writings and lectures, research notebooks, photographs and other materials—were donated to UC San Diego's Mandeville Special Collections Library after her death, along with the papers of her husband, UCSD chemical physicist Joseph Mayer.

The Maria Goeppert Mayer stamp marks the second instance of a U.S. Postal Service stamp based on images from UCSD's Special Collections. In 2004, a commemorative postage stamp was issued marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel.

—Dolores Davies