Hundreds attend Anderson Hancock Planetarium dedication

The crowd gathered beneath the large white tent reflected exactly the types of people who made the Anderson Hancock Planetarium and the Friday dedication ceremony possible.

Dave Rickey '78 speaks during the dedication ceremony of the Anderson Hancock Planetarium on Friday, May 8, 2009.
Dave Rickey '78 speaks during the dedication ceremony of the Anderson Hancock Planetarium on Friday, May 8, 2009.

Great professors—current and retired—spoke about what it meant to inspire students. Two special alumni spoke about the unique care and education they received from inspired teachers. And Marietta College President Jean Scott paid tribute to the importance of both groups in the endeavor of preserving the liberal arts education.


A little more than a year ago, David '78 and Brenda Rickey made a conference call to Marietta College. Two of David Rickey's former professors—Drs. Lester Anderson '55 and Whit Hancock—were in the room when it was announced that the new planetarium, funded primarily through the Rickeys' foundations, would be named in honor of them.

"Brenda and I are proud to see their names on this building," David Rickey said during the dedication ceremony.

Both Anderson and Hancock spoke to the crowd of about 150 people and thanked the Rickeys for enabling the College to provide such a powerful educational tool to students and the community.

Attending the ceremony were alumni, faculty, staff, administration, Board of Trustee members, family and friends of the College. Dr. F. Story Musgrave '60, a surgeon and former astronaut, provided the keynote address, in which he honored Marietta's tradition of having such great professors, including Herschel Grose and the late Harla Ray Eggleston. He also spoke of how the new planetarium would reach beyond inspiring future astronomers and also stimulate the minds of artists.

Planetarium Director Dr. Ann Bragg said the new facility would attract an array of people curious to know more about the night sky. She said the fall semester would bring a group of Marietta students who want to lean how to operate the planetarium. In contrast, she spoke of the kindergarten children from Williamstown Elementary School who will be learning about constellations on Tuesday.