Reception for community leaders, “Greatest Hits” lecture celebrate lab’s proud past, bright future

Fermilab’s 50th anniversary celebrations are in full swing. On Friday, Jan. 27, the laboratory hosted a reception for elected officials and community leaders, and drew one of the largest crowds of local luminaries in its recent history.

Nearly 200 invited guests, including Rep. Randy Hultgren; State Reps. Steven Andersson, Mike Fortner and Stephanie Kifowit; State Sen. Linda Holmes; several mayors from neighboring cities and villages; and dozens of aldermen, county board members, educators and leaders attended. They toasted Fermilab with wine and cupcakes and heard stirring words from DOE Site Office Manager Mike Weis and Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer who thanked the local community for its support and talked about the laboratory’s proud past and bright future of the laboratory.

Afterward, the guests joined a crowd of ticket-holders to see longtime Fermilab scientist Chris Quigg deliver a lecture titled “Fermilab’s Greatest Hits.” Quigg touched on the high points of the laboratory’s 50-year history, highlighting discoveries as well as nonscientific milestones such as the human rights proclamation by founding director Robert Wilson, the prairie reconstruction project and the start of the daycare center. Across the stage he displayed numerous artifacts to illustrate various milestones and the complex devices that scientists build to achieve their scientific goals. The video of Quigg’s lecture is available on YouTube.

Before the lecture, State Rep. Mike Fortner read a proclamation adopted earlier that week by the Illinois House of Representatives congratulating Fermilab on its half-century of innovation in Illinois.

“Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the one-hundredth General Assembly of the State of Illinois that we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and that we encourage Fermilab, the city of Batavia and the state of Illinois to continue to encourage the outstanding research that they conduct,” the proclamation reads.