Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship Fund
Dave DeBruyn considers himself among the most fortunate of individuals.  He landed his dream job right after finishing his schooling in astronomy at the University of Michigan,  enjoyed its many challenges and opportunities for close to four decades, and still passionately contributes to the institution he loves as a volunteer since officially retiring in 2003.  Dave was named Chief Curator of what was then the Planetarium of the Grand Rapids Public Museum in 1964 and helped implement Museum Director W.D. Frankforter's vision of renaming the facility after fallen astronaut Roger B. Chaffee in 1967.   

David assembled  a talented staff of two professional Associate Curators,  as well as  enthusiastic part time assistants from the ranks of college and high school interns and local amateur astronomers and led an evolution in public awareness of the sky.  The program included planetarium shows with professional narration and background music, sidewalk astronomy events, and West Michigan Skies,  a periodic astronomy feature in the Grand Rapids Press  which  continues today as the longest running column in the paper's history.   He has taught astronomy on the college level,  presented illustrated talks to numerous educational and civic organizations,  and has written articles for both popular and professional journals.    

Recognizing the planetarium as an appropriate venue for laser light shows and science fiction stories, Dave and support staff made sure technical capabilities for these and other alternate forms of audio-visual expression were enhanced in a new state of the art Chaffee Planetarium opened in 1994 as part of the Grand Rapids Public Museum's VanAndel Museum Center.   

He is a co-founder of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association, the first of the  regional collaborations of  planetarium professionals that have since grown to become  the world-wide International Planetarium Society.    He is also a long-time board member and current president of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, an area-wide group of astronomy enthusiasts that established and maintains the James C. Veen Observatory in Lowell Township.    

Dave's head is not always in the stars.  For years, he was an active Kiwanian and on-call firefighter with the Cascade Township Fire Department.   He has been a member of a number of community boards and committees over the years.   He is a passable golfer, loves classical music, and is proud that he can still do both downhill and water skiing at age 70 ¨C though admittedly more conservatively than in the good old days.  
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