In 1909, Denison University Trustee Ambrose Swasey contributed the funding to build an observatory, which he also furnished with its original astronomical equipment. At that time, his firm, the Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, had manufactured many of the world’s finest and largest telescopes. Built of white Vermont marble, the interior was renovated and the outer dome replaced in 1970. Today’s observatory houses a 9-inch refracting and two 8-inch reflecting telescopes, which are fitted for astrophotography. It also houses the astronomy library and dark rooms.
Swasey Observatory is not only used as a student educational and research facility but also for public outreach. Open houses are hosted by the Department of Physics/Astronomy and astronomy students on a regular basis during the academic year. Announcement of these open house events are posted on the Physic Department home page as well as in the local papers.