Remembering Our Colleague, Dr. William A. Sibley

The Oklahoma EPSCoR program joins Oklahoma State University Department of Physics in remembering our colleague, William A. Sibley, who passed away on May 12, 2014.

Born in Texas, Bill attended primary and secondary schools in California and Oklahoma, graduating from Central High School.  He studied physics at the University of Oklahoma and received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate there.  He then did postdoctoral work in Aachen, Germany.  A retired major in the U.S. army reserves, he is a combat veteran of the Korean War.

He began his career in physics in 1961 as a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.  In 1970, he moved to Stillwater, OK to become head of the physics department at Oklahoma State University where he eventually became Assistant Vice President for Research.  In 1979 he was named as Outstanding Teacher at OSU.  Dr. Sibley played a key role in bringing the National Science Foundation EPSCoR program to Oklahoma in 1985.  In 1988, he became program director at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., and served as acting director of the Division of Materials Research during the summer of 1990.

In 1990, Bill returned to education to serve as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Physics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. While at UAB, Bill served as Assistant to the Provost and was named a recipient of the UAB President’s Medal for outstanding dedication and service.  From UAB, Dr. Sibley went back to the National Science Foundation to work as the program director for the Centers for Research and Excellence in Science and Technology.

Following his service with the NSF, the Sibleys "retired" to Oklahoma where Bill became president of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), an organization which he helped develop several years earlier.  Following his retirement from OCAST he focused on research as a visiting professor at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Bill was not only an incredible man of distinction, but he touched many lives from all walks of life and throughout the world.

Story Credit (with some modifications):  
OSU Department of Physics, 5/14/14,