Observatory Dedication

In service

June 02, 1991

At a ceremony on June 6, the Naval Academy's Class of 1941 will dedicate a new observatory that houses a restored refracting telescope.

The observatory is a gift from the Class of 1941 to the Naval Academy on the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

The new observatory sits on a knoll just off Decatur Road by the bridge over Dorsey Creek. Until the early part of this century, the observatory was located along the shoreline between the Chapel and where Chauvenet Hall now stands. Inside the old observatory was a refracting telescope with a 7.75-inch lens ground in 1857 by Alvan Clark and Sons of Cambridgeport, Mass.

The newly restored Alvan Clark telescope will enable advanced students to work in the areas of visual and photographic astronomy of bright objects. It will provide opportunities for all midshipmen to practice locating celestial coordinates. Astronomy students, researchers, staff, Trident scholars, astronomy club members and visiting alumni will be able to use the telescope.


Marine Corps Maj. John J. Spegelee of the Naval Academy's computer science department will receive two awards for teaching excellence in a ceremony on Friday, May 24.

Spegelee will be the first recipient of the Class of 1951 Military Faculty TeachingExcellence Award. Endowed recently by the academy Class of 1951, theaward will be presented annually to the military faculty member judged to be the most outstanding in teaching and sustained contributionsto the individual development of midshipmen during the past year.

He will also receive the William P. Clements Award for Excellence inEducation. The Clements Award, established in honor of William P. Clements Jr., a former deputy secretary of defense, is presented annually to the academy's top military instructor who contributes most during the year to the academic, professional and moral development of midshipmen.

A 1978 academy graduate who returned to the academy in 1988 to teach in the computer science department, Spegelee said, "These awards are a beautiful way to cap a great tour."

Spegelee's interest in his own students is not confined to the classroom. An avid offshore sailor, he served as an instructor-under-training and as assistant officer-in-charge during an offshore cruise. He also coached on the Naval Academy's 44-foot sloops in the Command Seamanship and Training Squadron.

As the officer representative for the Student Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery, an organization that emphasizes applications of computer technologies, Spegelee created andconducted computer contests to challenge the problem-solving skills of members. As a result of these contests, academy midshipmen were for the first time selected to represent the Naval Academy at region

al computer contests.

Last fall, Spegelee also helped coach the Navy Women's Soccer Club, which ended its season with a 12-2-1 record.

Spegelee has volunteered for a number of community service projects. Recently, he has been active in coordinating the efforts of midshipmen involved in the Draketail Maritime Project. This community service project includes midshipmen and academy faculty who serve as mentors for Anne Arundel County school students building a Chesapeake BayDraketail boat.

As an active member of the academy's Speaker Bureau, Spegelee has made presentations to a variety of school and business organizations. He has also served as a science fair judge for areaschools and has volunteered to teach computer skills to children at West Annapolis Elementary School.

Teaching and volunteer work are only a small part of what Spegelee does. As chairman of the computer science department curriculum committee, he reviewed the current curriculum in preparation for an accreditation review, recommended ways to attract and retain computer science majors and spearheaded an effort to add

the Department of Defense standard computer language, Ada, to the computer science curriculum.

During his three years with the computer science department, his work has also included developing the first computer science core course placement examination and serving as course coordinator for four courses and teaching more than 220 midshipmen in eight separate courses.

In addition to teaching and serving as a course coordinator, Spegelee also conducts research. At the academy he advises midshipmen on their research projects and does research in the area of software engineering.

Based on his accomplishments, he was selected to participate in the Service Academy Research Associate program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M. During this summer intership, Spegelee was involved in the initial development of computer controls for a free-electron lasersystem.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.