Obituary: Donald MacMinnDonald (Donn) Lee MacMinn (M.S.'96), a graduate student in Astronomy & Astrophysics, died Aug. 30 near Geneseo, Ill., after being struck by a vehicle during a bicycling trip. He was 29.
A native of Los Angeles, MacMinn began his graduate studies at Chicago in physics before transferring to astronomy. In 1995, he received the Gregor Wentzel Prize, awarded for excellence in undergraduate teaching in physics by a first-year graduate student. He also received a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program fellowship in 1996, and at the time of his death was studying cosmology under his advisor, Joshua Frieman, Associate Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics. MacMinn shared his love of learning by tutoring South Side elementary and high school students in math and science.
He was also a fan of the opera, and a memorial fund is being established in his name at the Lyric Opera Company of Chicago.
Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Leah MacKinney and Gary Buckley; his father and stepmother, Richard MacMinn and Mary Rokamura; a sister, Elizabeth; and his grandmother, Sally MacKinney, all of Los Angeles; and his fiancee, Neda Ulaby, of Chicago.