Wednesday, August 26, 2015

NKU opens Schneider Observatory on roof of Founders Hall

@NKUFirstYear. 
A new facility at Northern Kentucky University will bring students and the community closer to the stars than ever before.

The Julie and David Schneider Observatory will provide a research laboratory for NKU students and faculty as well as for community members. The facility opened on Aug. 26.

“We are grateful for the Schneider Observatory, which will provide our faculty and students with improved research opportunities and allow us to grow outreach to our community partners,” said Dr. Katherine Frank, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.


Located on the roof of Founders Hall, the tallest academic building on NKU’s Highland Heights campus, the 1,000 square-foot observatory features a retractable roof and eight permanent telescopes.

The rooftop is an ideal location for observing celestial bodies due to both the height of the building and NKU’s location atop a hill. The observatory is located approximately 921 feet above sea level.

“It’s a marvelous site,” said Dr. Charles Hawkins, professor emeritus in NKU’s Department of Physics, Geology and Engineering Technology. “Pretty much any direction that you would want to look, you’ll see wide open sky.”

The observatory is made possible by a gift from Julie and David Schneider, NKU alumni and supporters.

Julie Schneider earned a B.A. of History in 1987, and David Schneider earned a B.A. of Science in physics and mathematics in 1986.

Julie Schneider is owner and operator of Schneider Homes Inc. and Castle Bluff Developments. David Schneider is CEO of Walton-based Rem-Brands and holds several chemical patents. In 2010, he was named Outstanding Alumnus for the College of Arts & Sciences.

It was as an undergraduate student at NKU that David Schneider “caught the bug” for observing the universe through a telescope. Now, he hopes to pass that love of learning on to a new generation of students.

“Julie and I hope many will enjoy the Schneider Observatory for years to come,” he said. “I am certain that as the observatory is available over the years, many others interested in our amazing universe will catch the bug and continue the dream.”

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