The Von Laue Society
We believe that social interaction among the graduate students and faculty is a critical part of the "graduate experience". One of the most famous and cherished traditions in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is the "throwing of a Von Laue." A Von Laue is the gathering of faculty, staff and graduate students at a local establishment to eat, drink and be merry, courtesy of the individual or individuals hosting the event. Tradition has it that a "Von Laue" occurs in response to an event of significant importance in one's life. This may involve a graduation, a successful thesis defense or something more personal, like getting engaged or earning a great exam score in a very difficult class. It is an opportunity for us to share a positive experience with the rest of the department.
Faculty and graduate students also participate together in many school-sponsored events such as intramural sports. The picture below shows a group that competed in the annual Turkey Trot, a foot race that heads from the lower campus, up the hill, past the fraternities and back again. Each university group, department, and residence hall sponsors a team of at least 10 people. The winning group in each category receives (what else) frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving as well as T-shirts. Who says graduate school has to be all work and no play!?