Donation helps students aim for the stars

Hazleton resident Richard Hummel recently presented astronomy equipment to the physics and science departments at Penn State Hazleton. Among the items in the gift are a telescope with a wide range of lenses and accessories, astronomer's binoculars, and related books.

Hummel, a disabled veteran, said, "Astronomy has been a passion of mine for so many years, starting when I was on a Navy ship sailing around the world. I decided to donate the equipment hoping that it would spark an interest and passion in students here at Penn State Hazleton."

Penn State Hazleton Chancellor Gary Lawler said, "We thank Richard Hummel for thinking of our students and campus when he decided to donate this equipment. We continue to build the resources for our faculty who are top-rate scholars through gifts, grants and university purchases to ultimately enhance the teaching learning experience for students."

David Starling, assistant professor of physics, added, "Students at Penn State Hazleton are highly interested in astronomy, and those enrolled in the astronomy course and related courses will greatly benefit from this gift."

Dr. Lawler continued, "The long-term goal for this equipment is to use it in conjunction with the recent 26-acre land gift from the Engle, Bates and Dove families to build an astronomical observatory. This project has already garnered a high degree of interest from community members and local astronomy clubs, and we have already begun raising money for it."