Noted Astrophysicist, Alumnus Addresses Fall Graduates

St. Mary’s University distinguished alumnus and celebrated astrophysicist Giovanni G. Fazio, Ph.D., served as the keynote speaker at the 12th annual Fall Commencement Exercises on Saturday, December 15, 2012.

Fazio (B.S., B.A. ’54), a senior physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, pioneered the development of gamma-ray astronomy using balloon-borne telescopes and was the co-principal investigator for the gamma-ray detector experiment on NASA’s first Orbiting Solar Observatory.



He also was the principal investigator for the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) experiment on the Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA’s “Great Observatories.” The telescope was launched in 2003 and continues to produce spectacular images of the infrared universe.

St. Mary’s University repeatedly has been nationally recognized for its commitment to service and community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation has given St. Mary’s its prestigious Community Engagement Classification, and St. Mary’s has received the Presidential Award from the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition for service in higher education. St. Mary’s University is a Catholic and Marianist university with a tradition of academic excellence.