June 14, 2024

Death of UMW Dr. Nikolai Nikolic, Professor Emeritus of Physics

I am sorry to tell you that Dr. Nicola Nikolić, Professor Emeritus of Physics, died on June 14. Born in Belgrade, Serbia, “Nick” received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Belgrade in 1950, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1955 after studying the History of Art at his undergraduate institution. In 1962 he received his Ph.D. from Columbia.  A member of the Mary Washington College faculty from 1969-2001, he earlier taught at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and at Louisiana State University. From 1972-73 he chaired our Department of Physics and Astronomy. He served as Secretary of the Faculty during 1992-93.

Nick had a wide range of interests. Scores of Mary Washington students passed through his Astronomy course and his upper-level Physics courses. An accomplished photographer, his work was seen throughout central Virginia, including two exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He and his wife Jean, who survives him, were founding members of the Holy Cross Anglican Church. He was a member of the Board of Regents of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library from 1998-2000.

Students and colleagues warmly remember Nick’s liveliness and enthusiasm. Generations of Physics majors, with whom he had a strong rapport, received individualized attention from him.  Many of those whose work he supervised have already written to express their sorrow at his passing.

Dr. Nikolić ‘s family held visiting hours on Monday, June 18 in Fredericksburg and a funeral service on Tuesday, June 19.

Richard Finkelstein
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
University of Mary Washington

The Free Lance-Star remembered Dr. Nikolić in the article “Speaking Freely Came Easily” on  Monday, June 18: http://blogs.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/06/18/speaking-freely-came-easily/.


  1. […] the UMW announcement of Dr. Nikolic’s death here and a remembrance published in the Free Lance-Star here. Filed Under: Museum […]