Robert Sproull

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Robert Lamb Sproull (born ca. 1918) is a retired American educator, physicist, and US Department of Defense official.

A graduate of Deep Springs College, Sproull studied English literature at Cornell University before taking a Ph.D. at the same university in physics. He began a promising and productive career as a physicist at Cornell and headed the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP) and the Materials Science Center. Sproull left Cornell to become director of ARPA where he was a strong advocate of cooperation among academia, government, and industry to meet US scientific needs for defense and competition with the Soviet Union.

After taking up an administrative post at Cornell, he became provost and vice president of the University of Rochester in 1968. While at Rochester, he also served on Cornell's Board of Trustees. In 1970, he became Rochester's President, and the trustees voted in 1974 to make him the university’s chief executive officer. He retired as president and became professor of physics at the university in 1985. He serves on the Board of the George C. Marshall Institute. He was Chairman of the Defense Science Board. He was a member of the Roundtable Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2005, the University of Rochester named its Center for High Intensity Laser Research in his honor. In...
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