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Slicing rock 'hors d' oeuvres' for April 17 Tack Faculty Lecture

  • A slice of the Commonwealth
    A slice of the Commonwealth  Geologist Chuck Bailey inspects a finished geological sample, one of many rock "hors d' oeuvres" that will be circulated in the audience of William & Mary's Tack Faculty Lecture Series at 7 p.m. April 17 in the Kimball Theatre.  Photo by Joseph McClain
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The bowels of William & Mary’s McGlothlin-Street Hall are busier—and noisier—than ever this week.

That’s the home of the Department of Geology’s Rock Room, where students and faculty alike were pitching in to help cut up rock specimens. They will serve up their finished cuboids, dubbed geological “hors d’ oeuvres,” next week at the Tack Faculty Lecture Series.

Chuck Bailey, professor and chair of geology, will give William & Mary’s Tack Faculty Lecture on April 17. Bailey will speak on “Finding Faults in Old Virginia,” at 7 p.m. in Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre.

Bailey’s presentation is the third in the series, which William & Mary Provost Michael R. Halleran describes as a once-a-semester opportunity for a William & Mary scholar or researcher to address the community on a topic related to his or her research. A generous commitment by Martha '78 and Carl Tack '78 established the Tack Faculty Lecture Series. The commitment supports an endowment for the series and stipends for the speakers.

Bailey will speak on earthquakes in Virginia, including the 5.8 magnitude tremblor of August 2011 that put the Washington Monument out of commission. He’ll also talk on geologic mysteries of the Commonwealth, illustrated by the rock hors d’ oeuvres. These morsels will include such interesting Virginia rocks as breccia, hornfels, serpentinite and mylonite—formed, Bailey says, “in ductile fault zones when rock flows like taffy.”

Attendance at all presentations in the Tack Faculty Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Those planning to attend are asked to register at