Gordon A. McKay (1946-2008) was a long-time member and Fellow of the Meteoritical Society. Gordon received his B.S from Rice University and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, working with Dr. D. Weill. His Ph.D. thesis was on high-Ti lunar basalts and the origin of the lunar KREEP component.

Gordon went to work at NASA Johnson Space Center, where he spent the rest of his career, eventually serving as Chief of the Planetary Research Division, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate. Gordon’s research focused on igneous rocks of the Moon and Mars, and laboratory experiments designed to duplicate the processes and conditions of their formation. He was particularly interested in partitioning of trace elements between igneous minerals and their melts, and application of partition coefficients to constrain the origins of igneous rocks. He was an early advocate for the importance of element maps from electron beam instruments.

Gordon was a strong proponent of student involvement in planetary sample science, and every year invited student interns to work in his experimental lab and to present their results at international conferences. The McKay Fund was established in 2007 to honor the memory of Gordon and supports the McKay Award. The McKay Award is given each year to the student who gives the best oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the society.

Outside of his work, Gordon served on the Council of the city of El Lago Texas (where he and his family lived), loved sailing, and celebrating Friday afternoons with friends and colleagues.