Williams Observatory at night

Craven W. Williams Observatory

Since its dedication in 1990, the Craven E. Williams Observatory has served as a focal point for astronomy education for the University and amateur astronomers throughout the region.

The observatory is named for the ninth president of Gardner-Webb University, and was constructed largely through volunteer efforts. Funds for the facility were made possible through area donors and a matching grant from the Janirve Foundation of Asheville. The Observatory dome houses a 16″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, while a range of other instruments are also utilized. In addition to supporting astronomy classes at the University, the facility hosts school and community groups for observing and educational programs, as well as monthly public nights and special programs. The Williams Observatory also serves as the home observatory for the Cleveland County Astronomical Society.

Contact Information

Williams Observatory
Dr. Wilson Hawkins, Assistant Professor of Physics
Campus Box 7270
Boiling Springs, NC 28017
(704) 406-3804
[email protected]

Astronomy Clubs and Associations

Observing Guides and Information


Miscellaneous and Weather


Light Pollution Map

Credit: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi (University of Padova), C. D. Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder). Copyright Royal Astronomical Society. Reproduced from the Monthly Notices of the RAS by permission of Blackwell Science.