FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Date: May 23, 2003

   Contact: Mary Caroline Mitchell, (217) 206-7395


First director of McDonnell Planetarium to speak at Science Center


SPRINGFIELD The University of Illinois Alumni Association is sponsoring a St. Louis-area alumni luncheon and star party from noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at the St. Louis Science Center’s Mission Control Room.  Featured speaker will be University of Illinois at Springfield Professor Charles Schweighauser, whose presentation is titled “What’s New in the Solar System.” 

Following a buffet lunch, Schweighauser will show slides and discuss how recent satellite exploration has revealed a great amount of detailed information about the planets that has added to and changed our concept of the solar system. 

Schweighauser, UIS professor emeritus of Astronomy/Physics, Environmental Science, and English, served as the first director of St. Louis’ McDonnell Planetarium, from 1960 to 1965.  During this time he also taught astronomy at Washington University, St. Louis University, and the University of Missouri, St. Louis.  Although officially retired from UIS, he continues to teach and is host of the popular Friday night star parties held at the Barber Observatory on the UIS campus.

The public is invited to this event, however reservations are required. Cost for the lunch and lecture is $8 for U of I alumni and guests, $16 for all others. Make reservations no later than Monday, June 2, by contacting the Alumni Association at the Springfield campus by e-mail at or by phone at (217) 206-7395.

The St. Louis Science Center is located at 5050 Oakland Avenue, in Forest Park.