The University of Chicago News Office
September 5, 1997 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366

Donald Lee MacMinn, 1967-1997

Donald (Donn) Lee MacMinn, a graduate student in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, was struck and killed by a pickup truck while riding a bicycle near Geneseo, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 30, during a four-day bicycling trip. He was 29.

MacMinn was born Oct. 18, 1967, in Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1994, and his M.S. in astronomy and astrophysics from Chicago in 1996. While at Chicago, he received the Gregor Wentzel Prize in 1995, awarded for excellence in undergraduate teaching in physics by a first-year graduate student (MacMinn began his graduate studies in physics before transferring to astronomy). 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 was an outdoor enthusiast who also loved opera. Active in the University community and beyond, MacMinn shared his teaching and love of learning by tutoring South Side elementary and high school students in math and science.

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 fiancée, Neda Ulaby, of Chicago. A memorial fund is being established in his name at the Lyric Opera Company of Chicago.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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