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Michael J. Harrison


1932 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Michael J. Harrison Obituary
Michael J. Harrison

East Lansing - Michael J. Harrison, born August 20, 1932, to Nathan and Mae Harrison of Chicago, died April 7, 2018. He grew up in a close extended family, on the South Side, to become the first Jewish president of his high school senior class.

With a full scholarship to Harvard College, he graduated with honors, and then had a Van Loon Fellowship in physics to the University of Leyden, the Netherlands. Michael returned to the University of Chicago for his PhD, followed by a two year post-doc at the University of Birmingham, England, under the mentorship of Sir Rudolph Peierls.

In 1961, Michael joined the faculty of MSU, where he spent his entire career, finally retiring in 2007. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, he had several administrative assignments: he was the principal investigative officer for the Center of Excellence Grant, awarded to MSU in 1968, the largest grant received by the university up to that time, which strengthened the foundation for the Cyclotron; he was the university's first Faculty Grievance Officer; and he served as Dean of Lyman Briggs College for eight years.

Michael is survived by his wife, Ann (Tukey) of 47 years; his sister, Esther (Jerome) Delson; Esther's three children, Lea, Nathan and Beth and their children; as well as numerous other nieces and nephews and cousins.

A very early member of Congregation Kehillet Israel, he supported the many varieties of Jewish life in the Lansing area. He was also a member of the Lansing Rotary Club.

Service for Michael will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Kehillat Israel.
Published in Lansing State Journal on Apr. 9, 2018
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