Jesse Wakefield Beams received a Ph.D. in physics from
the University of Virginia in 1926. He was chairman of
the physics department at the university from 1948-1962.
During this time he also held the Francis H. Smith chair
in physics. He received many awards in his career; in
1967 he was awarded the National Medal of Science.
(Sean Kirkpatrick, The Daily Progress, July 24th, 1977)