Sandia LabNews

Sandia gearing up for 50th anniversary celebrations,observances in 1999

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A Sandia National Labs 50th anniversary logo has been developed for use throughout 1999 – the Labs’ anniversary year.

The logo, developed under the direction of Sandia’s 50th Anniversary Committee with the help of graphic artist Nanci Easter (12620), will be available for use next year on publications and web sites. Usage standards and different graphic versions of the logo will be issued later this year on Sandia’s Internal Web.

The logo shows the two most common versions of the thunderbird that Sandia has used over the past 43 years. The thunderbird is a mythical symbol that stems from American Indian folklore.

The first version of the thunderbird, seen in the lower half of the 50th anniversary logo, was created in 1955 from a design submitted by former Sandian Clyde Walker. The early thunderbird was enclosed within a pentagon. That version remained essentially the same until 1970, when Sandia switched to the current thunderbird, bordered by four sides.

Plans to celebrate Sandia’s 50th anniversary are coming together, with the major event consisting of a Family Day scheduled for Sept. 25, 1999, at Sandia/New Mexico and Sept. 11, 1999, at Sandia/California.

Sandia will officially reach its 50th birthday on Nov. 1, 1999, marking the day in 1949 when Sandia Corporation, created as a subsidiary of AT&T, began managing Sandia. "National" was added to Sandia’s name in 1979 after Congress designated Sandia and its partners, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore laboratories, as Department of Energy national laboratories.

In addition to Family Day and a special event to mark the actual Nov. 1 birthday, celebrations of Sandia’s many past contributions to national security as well as its current and future role as the nation’s premier science and engineering laboratory will be incorporated into events throughout next year.

The year-long celebration will begin with a review of Sandia’s heritage at the State of the Labs community address in February. Current plans also call for the inclusion of a special speaker at Sandia’s annual Arms Control Conference in April as well as discussions of Sandia’s contributions to weapons surety and nonproliferation.

The 50th anniversary theme also will be included in the annual Retiree Picnic in May, and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce plans to recognize Sandia at its annual membership meeting in July 1999.

Planning also has begun on the development of a traveling 50th anniversary exhibit, which will be placed at strategic locations around Sandia as well as within the Albuquerque and Livermore communities.

"As we celebrate and recall our rich heritage and Sandia’s many unique contributions to the United States and to the international community, it is also important to look toward the future and the 21st century and to the new challenges, opportunities and contributions that will perpetuate Sandia as the institution of cutting-edge technological prowess," says Jim Brown (5335), co-chairman of the 50th Anniversary Committee.

Adds fellow co-chairman Chris Miller (12680): "Sandia has a proud heritage and a remarkable story to tell about its many contributions to the nation’s nuclear weapons program, as well as its considerable technology spin-offs that are now helping Americans in their everyday lives. It’s amazing to think technologies such as the laminar flow cleanroom, now used throughout the world for the manufacture of microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, and for hospital surgery, were developed at Sandia."