James G. Potter Scholarships for Physics Students


General Endowment


$100,559 (2021)

Year Established



Scholarships for physics students. (GF000069)


This scholarship is administered by the Office of Financial Aid. Recipients must be a student within the physics department.


James G. Potter was born on April 2nd, 1907, in Manhattan, Kansas. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton in 1927, MS from New York University in 1931, and PhD from Yale in 1939, all of them in physics. His professional career started at the Naval Research Laboratories and continued at Armour Institute of Technology (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) as an instructor and assistant professor. He also served at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology as a professor and head of the department of physics. From 1945 to 1966, he was a staff physicist at Bell Labs and served as a professor and head of the physics department at Texas A&M University, and in 1967, he was assistant dean for student resources there.

Potter moved to Florida Institute of Technology in 1967 and helped build the physics department. He was a professor and head of department until 1972, and continued as a professor until 1987, when he became professor emeritus. Moreover, Potter founded, guided, and supported the local chapter of the Society for Physics Students and continued to operate the physics laboratories and train graduate student assistants as instructors.

James Potter was fully active in the Florida Tech physics department until a few months before his death on October 21st, 1993. 


2019  Maria Fernanda Galvez Gonzalez

2020  Maria Fernanda Galvez Gonzalez

2021  Christopher Rowell