Today@Sam Article

A Gift Written In The Stars

Nov. 15, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Barbara DomineyStargazing is something Barbara Dominey holds dear to her heart because it brings back special memories with her late husband, Sam.

“We would sit under the trees at the ranch, watch the Milky Way and listen to the wind in the trees,” she recalled. 

After graduation, Sam (’52) served in the U.S. Army which provided him opportunities that led to a distinguished career as a nuclear physicist for  companies that  developed nuclear  aircraft for use by the military.

In 1980, Sam purchased General Nucleonics, Inc. and used his passion for physics and astronomy to change his focus and develop nuclear energy for positive and peaceful benefits.  His in-flight blade crack detection system was installed on U.S. military helicopters, providing adequate time for a pilot to land, saving an untold number of lives. 

To honor Sam and carry on his passion for discovery, Barbara made a generous gift to SHSU to expand and replace the current observatory space and add an additional teaching and observatory structure with a retractable roof in the Astronomy Park. These facilities will be the cornerstone for recruiting and outreach strategy for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. 

“It is a pleasure to give to the university,” Barbara said. “Sam’s love of the heavens knew no boundaries and now he is among the heavens.”

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