For laser inventor Charles Townes, a festive 99th

The Straw Hat Band serenaded Nobelist Charles Townes, inventor of the laser, on his 99th birthday. Video by Christian Collins.

UC Berkeley Nobelist Charles H. Townes drew a crowd of more than 500 admirers to Faculty Glade as the campus wished him a happy 99th birthday.

Accompanied by his wife, Frances, 98, and his three daughters, Townes, the inventor of the laser, was presented with the Chancellor’s Citation by Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele.

Physics Department Chair Steve Boggs read proclamations from the cities of Berkeley and Greenville, S.C., who declared July 28, 2014 “Charles H. Townes Day.” John Seel of the Templeton Foundation praised Townes for his efforts to reconcile science and religion.

Townes also was serenaded by the California Straw Hat Band and beamed through a rousing “Happy Birthday” before the crowd fell upon mini birthday cakes, and the guest of honor ate a piece as he received well wishes from hundreds of admirers. Read more about Charles Townes’ life and career here.

See this slide show of the party.