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Creation Date



Date Built - 1967
Dedicated - Oct. 14, 1967
Architects - Johnson

The planetarium was named for Hardin Cherry Thompson [1938-1963], son of President Kelly Thompson who died during his senior year at Western. Thompson, an Industrial Arts major, was active in the Arts and Craft Club, Scabbard and Blade, the Pershing Rifles and served as a College Heights Herald reporter.

There is a commemorative bronze plaque measuring 17" x 17" with inscription:

Named by the Board of Regents in Honor of Hardin Cherry Thompson, a member of the Western Senior Class at the time of his death, October 5, 1963. His courage and patience during extended illness brought inspiration to his fellow students and to all who knew him. This plaque presented by senior class of 1968.

Dedicated on October 13, 1967, the planetarium is seventy-two feet in diameter and 44 feet high, seats approximately 200 spectators in upholstered seats arranged in concentric circles with radical aisles. It contains a projection hemisphere room, display galleries and offices.["Planetarium One of Nine Western Structures Set for Dedication," Oct. 5, 1967]. The building was dedicated on Oct. 14, 1967.

View from the Hill - WKU’s Hardin Planetarium Gets a New Sound System, 1/5/2018

Park City Daily News:
"Apollo 11 Moon Rock Shown at WKU," Sept. 24, 1972.

Broadbent, Stephanie. "A Celestial Stage - Western Program Explores What Happens When Worlds Collide," April 21, 1997.

Dooley, Jason. "Wet Mars," March 10, 2004.

Garrett, Angela. " Observatory Offers View of the Stars," April 14, 1991

Gentry, Margaret. "Styrofoam Dome? That's the Planetarium Plan," Oct. 8, 1966.

Morgan, Stacy. "Planetarium is 'Out of This World'," April 15, 1984.

"Observatory Work Nearing Completion," March 3, 2000

"Planetarium Announces New Program," Dec. 1, 1969.

"Planetarium One of Nine Western Structures Set for Dedication," Oct. 5, 1967.

"Planetarium Telescope Available for Viewing," August 16, 1987

"Planetarium Will Have 3 Programs for Public," Oct. 6, 1974.

Purcell, Denise. "Planetarium Program Gives Viewers Up-Close Look at Sky," Oct. 3, 1991.

Ross, Thomas. "Telescope Completes Observatory," April 23, 1987

"Trip to the Stars is Nearby," Nov. 29, 1981.

Other Periodicals:
Kinslow, Gina. "Take Another Trip to the Planetarium," Glasgow Daily Times, Feb. 10, 2000.

Ryan, Ed. "Shakespeare's Phrases Warms Poetic Hearts, Leaves Scientists Cold," Louisville Courier-Journal, Oct. 10, 1967.

"WKU's Planetarium Has Stellar Shows," Todd County Standard, Oct. 2, 1974.


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