Satellite display station donated

By Maureen Morrissey

The parents of Paul Avon, a former NIU meteorology student, have donated $2,500 to NIU for a weather satellite video display station in memory of their late son.

Avon, a 21-year-old from Skokie, was struck and killed by a commuter train last December as he walked to his off-campus residence after completing his final exams.

Avon’s parents and Geography Professor Douglas ReVelle together decided what the Avons could do to make a “living memorial” for their son, ReVelle said. “Paul’s parents wanted to donate something that would help the program and be visible to the public,” he said.

The display station was dedicated at a Nov. 10 ceremony attended by almost 70 people, ReVelle said, including Avon’s parents, sister Wendy, relatives, friends and NIU faculty and administration. ReVelle was “extremely happy with the turnout,” and was especially “happy to see the number of graduates who came for the ceremony.”

Located in Davis Hall, the display station provides a satellite’s-eye view of North American weather. The station displays eight different formats of weather data on a color monitor and may be viewed anytime the building is open.

The display station is linked, via computer, to the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite East, located 23,500 miles above the equator in co-rotation with the Earth.

ReVelle said, “The Avons have indicated that should the equipment become obsolete, they are willing to replace it in the future.”