Designed by Dr. Gilbert Lueninghoener, the Lueninghoener Planetarium opened its doors in 1965. Dr. Gilbert Lueninghoener also introduced solid science education-based programs, a tradition that continues today. Groups can request programs on a variety of topics, including star shows and full-dome movies/shows. Current astronomical events are often featured within the program along with the yearly “Star of Bethlehem” Christmas show. The planetarium is utilized by Midland University students, school groups, scouts, church groups, and the general public. Midland University appreciates the contributions from Jack Dunn to the Lueninghoener Planetarium and those from the Walter and Ruby Behlen family to the Behlen Observatory. Almost forty years of Midland Astronomy students have been able to use the Behlen Observatory. The Behlen Observatory/telescopes are also available for use by community groups.
In addition to the planetarium, groups are encouraged to take advantage of the many other activities offered on campus like the Glismann Rock and Mineral Collection located in the Swanson Hall of Science hallway just east of the planetarium. The second floor of Swanson Hall contains an exhibit of one of the most complete presentations of the genus Lycena and Meltae available of butterflies of the high western plains and the middle Rockies. Also, weather permitting, the Midland University Heritage Arboretum has a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers. The majority of the specimens are labeled.
Swanson Hall is usually open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except during times when the campus is closed.