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David Levy to Receive Honorary Doctor of Science During Spring Commencement

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ He is known as the "comet hunter" and is perhaps one of the most well known astronomers of all time. David Levy will receive the honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York during the Spring Commencement Ceremony at SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday, May 14.

David Levy Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered some 21 comets, eight of them using his own backyard telescopes. With Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California, Levy co-discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. That episode produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. Levy is currently involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, which is based at the Jarnac Observatory in Vail, Ariz.

"David Levy's achievements in astronomical observation and in the popularization of science have been remarkable," said Dr. John Ettling, president of SUNY Plattsburgh. "It is highly fitting and proper that we acknowledge his extraordinarily inspiring achievements with this honorary degree."

SUNY Plattsburgh played an important part in stimulating Levy's passion for the night sky. During his teenage years, Levy attended the College's Adirondack Science Camp, which was held at Twin Valleys Outdoor Education Center near Lewis, N.Y. He said his experience in the summer science programs (1964-66) at Twin Valleys led him to become an amateur, and eventually, a professional astronomer.

Levy said that he is privileged to receive an honorary degree from SUNY.

"This is a highly meaningful honor for me since I have been involved with Plattsburgh, through its outdoor education center, for many years," said Levy.

During his recent visits to SUNY Plattsburgh and through extensive discussions with members of the faculty and administration, Levy is working with the campus to establish a state-of-the-art observatory and teaching laboratory at Twin Valleys.
As the science editor for Parade Magazine, Levy is able to reach more than 78 million readers. He has also authored or edited 31 books and has produced other products that help amateur astronomers and stargazers. He won an Emmy in 1998 as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel documentary, "Three Minutes to Impact."

He is also a contributing editor for Sky and Telescope Magazine and writes features for the Canadian Magazine Skynews. Levy has given more than 900 lectures and major interviews and has appeared on such television programs as the "Today Show," "Good Morning America," "ABC World News Tonight" and the National Geographic special, "Asteroids: Deadly Impact." He and his wife, Wendee, also host a weekly radio show, available worldwide at www.letstalkstars.com .

Levy, a Montreal native, received his bachelor's degree in 1972 from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He went on to receive his master's in English from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. He has also taken courses at McGill University and the University of Arizona. He is currently working on a doctorate from Hebrew University in Israel. In 2004, Levy was named the Senator John Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Arizona State University.

The campus president, faculty and a college-wide committee on honorary degrees recommend degree candidates to the SUNY Board of Trustees for approval.

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