Kutztown University to Dedicate the C.R. Chambliss Astronomical Observatory


Jillian Lovejoy | Director of Communications

Kutztown, Pa. – November 8, 2019 – The Kutztown University Foundation dedicated the C.R. Chambliss Astronomical Observatory, named in honor of the generous support of Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, Professor Emeritus of astronomy, on Friday, November 15, 2019.


The C.R. Chambliss Astronomical Observatory is located atop the Grim Science Building on Kutztown University’s campus.  It houses a 24-inch (0.61-meter) Ritchey-Chretien optical telescope system that is used for education, community outreach, and professional research projects.  Faculty, students, and visiting astronomers regularly conduct photometric and spectroscopic observations including recent contributions to the discovery and characterization of several new exoplanets.  Their work is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the observatory currently serves as a follow-up facility in support of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.


"Our students and I have the privilege of operating our own research-grade observatory right here on campus, and we are extremely grateful for Dr. Chambliss’ generous support,” said Dr. Phillip Reed, Professor of astronomy and physics.  “I look forward to many years of wonderful astrophysics projects at the C. R. Chambliss Astronomical Observatory.”


Carlson R. Chambliss joined the faculty of Kutztown State College in 1970, where he served for the next 33 years. He is a member of the AAS (American Astronomical Society) and IAU (International Astronomical Union). The asteroid Chambliss (23707) has been named for him.  Chambliss earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1962 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.  Upon retiring from Kutztown University, he established the C.R. Chambliss Scholarship Fund benefitting students majoring in the physical sciences. His lifelong interest in philately and numismatics led him to establish medal award programs for students (Kutztown Academic Achievement Awards) and for faculty members (Kutztown Faculty Research Awards).


“Since his arrival at Kutztown, Dr. Chambliss has impacted the campus in so many ways, first through his teaching and research, and now through his philanthropy,” said Alex Ogeka, Executive Director of the Kutztown University Foundation.  “He has changed the lives of KU’s students and faculty, and we are grateful for his support.”


Chambliss also established three different award medal programs with the AAS that honor graduate and undergraduate student researchers, amateur astronomers and astronomical writers.  In 2017, Chambliss became the fifth recipient of the President’s Medal, one of Kutztown University’s highest honors.


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