Robert Noyce '49
Robert Noyce '49 joins the Hall of Fame as a true Grinnellian, a hometown boy who became a champion diver, an outstanding student and a renowned computer scientist. Noyce developed into the prototypical diver. Upon seeing Noyce on the diving board for the first time, Kay Bucksbaum's first impressions of Noyce were, "His pike positions, his somersaults, his toes and ankles, were absolutely perfect. He got more bounce off the springboard than anyone else. He seemed to graze the ceiling in the old pool. That was Bob Noyce." This somewhat perfect technique and fluidity propelled Noyce to the forefront of the Midwest Conference in only his first year of competition. As a sophomore Noyce suffered only one defeat in competition and won the conference championship. Noyce still managed to place second and fourth in the years that followed, and helped to secure back-to-back third place conference finishes for Grinnell's swim team. Noyce's determination carried beyond athletics into the classroom as he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. This was only the beginning for Noyce, as he went on to patent the integrated circuit which put him on a "springboard" to the elite in the world of science. Throughout his lifetime, Noyce amassed numerous awards in the filed of science, including the National Medal of Science and the National Academy of Engineering's Charles Stark and Draper Prize for engineering achievement. Noyce passed away in 1990. The Noyce Science Center is named in his honor; in 2002 his family made a gift of $5 million to finance phase 2 of the Center.