Dr. Vladimir Strelnitski, the director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket lectured on "MWC349: The Unique Star-Laser" in Sanders Physics.   While associated with the Astrophysics Laboratory at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, in 1995, Dr. Strelnitsky was the principle investigator in the team that detected Radio Star MWC 349, the first “natural” laser to be found in space.

The Maria Mitchell Observatory was a key part of the program of the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.  Founded in 1902 by former students, family members and admirers of Vassar’s first professor of astronomy, Maria Mitchell, the association’s goals were preservation of Mitchell’s legacy at the native site of her work.