Dedication of the Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg Observatory at Enid High School comes with a campaign to fund improvements at the facility.
Enid High School graduate Tim Gregg — who took astronomy at the school in 1974 — is married to NASA astronaut Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg and wanted to get the observatory named in her honor.
“The reason why this project is so near and dear to my heart is, quite frankly, I wouldn’t be standing here today, I wouldn’t have the career that I did, if it hadn’t been for the teachers in my life, especially in high school,” Currie-Gregg said, during a celebration in Enid Tuesday. “Neither of my parents graduated from high school, so they couldn’t talk to me about careers in math, science or engineering. That was completely foreign to them. And so it was my high school math, and chemistry and biology teachers … they took an interest in me, they pointed me in the direction of academic scholarships, without I would have never been able to go to college.
Currie-Gregg currently serves as principal engineer in the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, was selected as an astronaut in 1990, is a veteran of four space shuttle missions and has accrued 1,000 hours in space, Enid Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said.
“We are honored to dedicate the Enid High School observatory in honor of Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg,” he said. “Through her generosity and life’s work she is inspiring the next generation of scientists, pioneers and innovative leaders. This partnership will greatly benefit our students at Enid High School for years to come, and we’re excited about kicking off this campaign because, obviously, it takes money to renovate anything, but especially anything that was built in the early to mid-(1960s).”
Constructed in 1963, the observatory still showcases the telescope installed in 1966.
Gregg and his wife decided to help with improvements at the observatory.
Friends of the Observatory has been formed, and Gregg appealed for donations.
“Our goal is to raise $50,000 for considerable improvements and updates to the observatory, but our support is not going to stop there,” he said, directing attendees to www.wewillfindstars.space for more information. “We want a new telescope that will find more stars in the sky, and we want a new telescope that will inspire students in a way, really, that nothing else does in education.”
Oklahoma Historical Society has put forth an application to make the observatory a National Historic Place in America, Gregg said.
Story provided by: Enid News & Eagle
Written by: Jessica Miller