Today@Sam Article

SHSU’s Dominey Observatory Celebrates Opening

April 1, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

Family and friends joined Barbara Dominey in cutting the ribbon on the Dominey Observatory.The inauguration of the Sam Houston State University Dominey Observatory marked a significant milestone as it opened its doors to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 28.

The occasion was graced by inspiring remarks from University President Alisa White, and Barbara Dominey, the widow of Sam Dominey, a Bearkat alumnus. Following Sam’s passing, Barbara chose to bestow a generous gift towards the establishment of a new observatory and was overjoyed at seeing the project’s completion.

“I know Sam would just be so thrilled to have you all here,” Dominey said in her address to guests at the ceremony. “There may be more planets than there are pieces of sand in the ocean and beaches, but we are all individual and we’re all important. This is going to be for kids to come, adults to come, for everybody to enjoy.”

DomineyObservatorySquare.jpgDominey’s gift provided the funding for the Department of Physics and Astronomy to expand on their commitment to research opportunities and community service through the new public observatory located near Highway 19 in Huntsville.

The first phase of development features a new state-of-the-art observatory with a domed retractable roof that is fully ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. This is made possible by the unique design of the new Dominey telescope, which brings the eyepiece down to a steady seated height using a special periscope attachment. Dual stairways connected to the main viewing platform allows for large groups to enjoy this amazing telescope efficiently, and a lift offers access for people in chairs or who have limited mobility.

“We’ve come a long way, and we’re going to continue to innovate,” White said. “The Department of Physics is forward looking and forward thinking, and their vision, along with Mrs. Dominey’s, opens up scientific inquiry to more people. Science should be available to all.”

To see more photos from the ceremony, follow this link.

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