Baldwin remembered at Apace Point Observatory

SUNSPOT, N.M. - The memory of Donald R. Baldwin, a founder of the Astronomical Research Consortium, the former Assistant Provost for Research at the University of Washington and a true friend of astronomy, has been honed in brass close to the sky he loved .

In a ceremony June 9, the Apache Point Observatory operations building was rededicated as the DONALD R. BALDWIN OPERATIONS BUILDING.

Baldwin, the Astronomical Research Consortium's (ARC) secretary and treasurer starting in 1984, died February 14, 2003. Baldwin was ARC's secretary and treasurer from its inception until his death.

"For twenty years, Donald R. Baldwin provided clear guidance in administrative activities, collegial interactions and financial management to the Astrophysical Research Consortium. He brought profound personal insight to the Consortium, and took from it t he knowledge and love of astronomy that deeply impacted the University of Washington and the national astronomical community," said two scientists who knew him from the beginning: Dr. Donald York of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department and the Enrico Fermi Institute at University of Chicago and Dr. Bruce Margon, a former chair of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington professor and now associate director for science at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

"Don played a crucial role in the formation of the consortium, the establishment of consortium agreements and bylaws, the later organization of the SDSS collaboration and management structure, and many of the "behind the scenes" aspects that may be invisi ble to many, but form the backbone of the organization," said ARC's board chair Rene Walterbos of the New Mexico State University at Las Cruces. "Don was the ultimate gentleman who got things done efficiently and effectively, not only through his administ rative skills, but also through his generous and kind nature."

In addition to starting ARC, Baldwin founded the University of Washington's Office of Technology Transfer and served the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) that operates astronomical facilities for the federal government, includi ng the Hubble Space Telescope.

In building ARC, Baldwin talked about overcoming the challenges of crafting a legal agreement and roadmap for the several institutions working toward one goal. "I was elected secretary-treasurer. The ARC corporate office was, and is, in my UW office," he is quoted in the December 10, 1998 edition of University Week of the University of Washington.

"Baldwin describes working with the astronomical community as bringing special satisfaction. "My usual work involves talking with people, writing memos, coming up with policies. In this case, I saw a facility arise out of the ground," he said in Universit y Week.