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A New Beginning for the Thomsen Observatory

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Southwestern founded the Thomsen Observatory in 1984 through the generosity of alums Dennis and Connie Dickerson and the efforts of academic dean Hal Wright and physics professor Roy Campbell. The observatory’s name honors the memory of Eugene V. Thomsen, a modern languages professor and, at the time of his death, Southwestern’s academic dean. Under Campbell’s direction, the observatory became a favorite Friday evening venue for SWAU and the Keene community.

Several years ago, the Observatory was damaged by vandals. Unfortunately, it has been a long road to repairing the damage since due to the difficulty of replacing some of the parts. The Observatory is much closer now to reopening, thanks to the efforts of several faculty and community members.