An observatory project of this magnitude does not happen without the support of many. Its roots trace back to the founders of the University of Denver, particularly Governor John Evans (who also founded Northwestern University). His vision enabled astronomer Herbert Howe to be hired in 1880, resulting in Humphrey Chamberlin's investment in the construction of a campus observatory housing a 20 inch Clark refractor in 1890. We estimate that more than a quarter million Denver students, residents and visitors have viewed with the refractor since, including William Herschel Womble - DU alumnus of the 1930s who left a bequest to the university to support its astronomy program and "to build and equip a mountain-top observatory to promote educational research in astrophysics and astronomy, in the memory of his mother, Cora Taylor Womble Fowler." Mr. Womble's vision has been realized, particularly with the provision of the Meyer Binocular Telescope from the Meyer Foundation and "far-sighted" Eric T. Meyer, its designer. Principals in the construction have been highlighted previously, but many persons have contributed since, in larger and smaller ways, in adding to the observatory project successes. Special thanks also is deserved by:Don Asquin, Joseph Burdick, Chris Cudlip, Barb Day and the crew at Echo Lake Lodge, Dimitri Klebe, Matti Jalakas, Marc Jones, Peter McNutt, Jeanie Meyer, Barbara Meyer, Dan Neafus, Richard Olson, Therese Ostrowski, Mike Read, Andrew Rosenthal, Mike Richards & the CDOT heroes, John Starkey, Steve Steele, Susan and Claire Stencel, Tom Stephen, Andy Sulkko, Ken Thames, Dave Trott, John Williams, Corey Wong, AND MANY OTHERS, including members of Front Range Astronomical Super-Cluster/MARS region clubs.
Personally, I also want to acknowledge my astronomical mentor, Edward Halbach, prodigious observer for the AAVSO and co-founder of the Astronomical League. His leadership locally and nationally enabled this astronomer to follow the stars since youth. His charge that the League should "promote the observing programs" is a guiding principle that should be foremost in consideration by all astronomers. CORPORATE FRIENDS OF MWO: It is a pleasure to cite the professional assistance of the following, without whom the observatory project would be much less successful. Tom Melscheimer of Merlin Controls (Berthoud, Colo), designed and integrated the mechanical to computer interfaces that permit full telescope and dome control. Steve, Tom, Matt and Dan Bisque of Software Bisque (Golden, Colo) have provided Sky Level V software with T-point correction algorithms that facilitates ready access to millions of celestial objects. Bill Collins of Collins Electro-Optics (Denver) provided an I3Piece which has proven essential for efficient observing with tiny field of view afforded by the 15,000 mm focal length of the Meyer Binocular Telescope. Kathy Havens of S&S Optica (Denver) and Jim Burr (JMI Industries) have been invaluable in finding unique and custom optical items that make best use of the current optical focal plane assemblies. Tom Melscheimer: merlin.com Software Bisque: bisque.com Bill Collins: ceoptics.com S&S Optika: 303-789-1089 JMI Industries: 800-247-0304 RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS: Renewable Energy Trust / NREL/ Burdick Technologies / Thames Electric Florida International University Univ. Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota Univ. Alaska Geophysical Institute NOAA Geodetic Lab (9.79008 meters per second squared) & others. LAST BUT NOT LEAST: I am grateful for financial assistance for capital items and generous student support from the Hess family, the Marlar Foundation and the Convergent Group. Finally, I want to cite longtime AAVSO observer and Denver resident, Ronald Ham. Following his recent death, Mrs. Ham made available to DU his 8 and 10 inch telescopes and extensive collection of original AAVSO charts. Acquisition of these materials has enabled an expansion of variable star studies via promotion with amateurs in this mountain region that might not have otherwise occurred. Hence, I salute Ron's observing career and am pleased to think that his work continues, and will hopefully attract new astronomy students. Summer 1999 Denver, ColoradoWe also thank the following special people: Robert Armon, Ed Flaspoehler, Marion Gottesfeld, Jim Greathead, Kathy and Time Havens, Mike Monahan, Janet and Jim Parnell, and many, many more! Thanks to all of you, we're observing!
And special thanks to our Astronomical League volunteer/guest observers.