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Giving Priorities


Steward Observatory and the Department of Astronomy Giving Opportunities

For over a century, the diverse and talented students, staff, and faculty of the Steward Observatory and the Department of Astronomy have explored the Universe together and shared what we have learned with the entire world through our educational and outreach programs.  The students and post-doctoral researchers we have trained, and our faculty, have helped prove the existence of dark matter, discovered that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, and made the first image of the event horizon of a massive black hole.  We are the only University to have designed and built a major instrument for more than one of NASA’s great observatories.  We currently operate many of the world’s leading and largest telescopes and are the host of the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, the innovative source of the world’s largest mirrors for telescopes.  Together with our partners, we are designing and building the next generation of giant space and ground based telescopes (including the Giant Magellan Telescope, with a 25m diameter primary mirror comprised of seven of our 8.4m mirrors) that will enable us, in the next decade, to search for signs of life on planets around distant stars and to study the time of the formation of first stars in our Universe. 

Support the Astronomy Department and Steward Observatory

Funds will support undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral fellows who are an integral part of the team of astronomers.  

We have large and high-quality programs at the undergraduate and graduate student level. All of our students have full access to all our facilities, including observatories and computing resources, to pursue their research, together with our amazing faculty, or independently. This is nearly unique in the world, the opportunity for our students to pursue their ideas at such an early stage of their careers. During the most formative stages of their development, we provide them the opportunity to both succeed and fail, over and over again, as they develop into independent and innovative leaders of research programs.

Support Astronomy Undergraduates, Graduates, and Postdoctoral Fellow Research

Our students leave Steward Observatory with the skills, experience, and confidence necessary to tackle challenging problems. The opportunities we provide to our students cost them nothing beyond their effort and commitment, but they are not free. To enable them to ask and answer their own original questions, we need funds. We need to provide new software or filters or other tools that the students and post-docs need to pursue their education and research.


Friends of Steward Observatory

Friends of Steward Observatory donations help support Astronomy, with our focus on undergraduate and graduate students. With donations from our Friends, we are able to continue to enrich the education, research and environment of our Astronomy department and Steward Observatory.

Funds go to support

  • Student Scholarships
  • Support of summer research projects
  • Astronomy Club 
  • Graduate Student Council 
  • Astronomy Student groups
  • Student support to promote their science research 
  • Special Projects

Our students are extremely grateful for your investment in Astronomy. To a student, every dollar is important and makes a difference. 

Make a Gift


Enhancing Public Outreach

Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter and SkySchool, the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab tours, public lectures and astronomy camp are the four outstanding programs Steward Observatory offers to the public. Gifts for these programs maintain their excellent programming, enhance facilities and increase outreach.  



The Bok Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Bart J. Bok Fellowship for Advanced Study in Astronomy and Astrophysics was created in honour of Bart J. Bok, director of Steward Observatory from 1966 through 1970. This three-year fellowship provides an opportunity for a recent Ph.D. recipient to pursue an ambitious program of research in any area of theoretical, experimental, or observational astronomy or astrophysics. Make a Gift


The Alan Brass Prize Fellowship in Instrumentation and Technology Development

The Alan Brass Prize Fellowship for the Development of Astronomical Instrumentation is a three year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. The Brass Fellow pursues an ambitious program of astronomical instrument development independently or in collaboration with the students, staff, and faculty of Steward Observatory. Make a Gift 


The Kenneth G. Gibbs Doctoral Fellowship in Astronomy and Astrophysics

The Kenneth G. Gibbs Doctoral Fellowship in Astronomy and Astrophysics was established to support a doctoral fellowship in the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory for students pursuing a promising line of research in astronomy or astrophysics.  Dr. Gibbs earned a Ph.D. in 1987 from the Department of Physics at the University of Arizona.  He developed a technique that advanced the study of very high energy gamma ray astronomy.   Make a Gift


Peter Strittmatter Post Doctorate Fellowship in Astronomy and Astrophysics

This fellowship will be awarded to a doctoral candidate to purse whatever research objectives are possible in partnership with the faculty at Steward and its ancillary facilities.

Peter Strittmatter was director of Steward Observatory for 38 years. Under his leadership, the department built the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT), the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT), and the Magellan telescopes, and is playing a major role in the creation of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). Make a Gift


Steward Theory Fellowship consits of two prizes

  • Steward Observatory Prize Fellowship in Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics - The Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Fellow will lead a high-profile, independent research program in any area of theoretical and/or computational astrophysics as well as collaborate with colleagues in Steward Observatory and the Department of Astronomy. The Department supports a wide range of theoretical research programs, in topics such as gravity and relativistic astrophysics, cosmology, compact objects, galactic dynamics, astrophysical fluid dynamics, galaxy formation, star formation, stellar and binary evolution and explosions, and planet formation.


  • Steward Observatory Prize Fellowship in Cosmological Data Analysis - Cosmological Data Analysis Fellows are expected to lead a high-profile, independent research program in any area related to data analysis of ongoing and future cosmological surveys, in particular DES, DESI, SPHEREx, Rubin Observatory’s LSST, the Roman Space Telescope, and CMB-S4. Applicants should outline their research plans to optimally extract cosmological information using one or multiple of these datasets. Expertise in modeling cosmological observables through analytical methods or numerical simulations, machine learning, statistical inference, and data reduction is beneficial. As members of the Arizona Cosmology Lab, fellows will be provided with priority access to UArizona and national supercomputing resources, close mentorship by experienced faculty, and opportunities to co-advise graduate students and mentor undergraduates.

    Make a gift to either of these two prizes

Ruth McCutcheon Steward Observatory Postdoctoral Fellows Research Endowment

The fund has been established to support Steward Observatory Prize Postdoctoral Fellowships and/or augment and provide additional support for postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory. Recipients of these funds will acknowledge the endowment on their science papers. 

Ruth was an important part of our Steward/Astronomy community since she joined us as Director of Development for Steward Observatory in July of 2015.  During our four years working together, she was a dear friend and passionate supporter of everything we do at Steward. In recent years her efforts included supporting LPL and Planetary Sciences, as well as the College of Science and the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization.  Make a Gift 


Peter Wehinger Fellowship Fund

This fund will support fellowships that enable educational and research activities for graduate students in the Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory. Fellowships will be awarded to current candidates or accepted graduate students in the Department of Astronomy. The selected meritorious graduate student(s) must demonstrate exceptional and/or creative work.

Peter Wehinger (1938-2015), Steward Observatory Astronomer and Development Officer, worked at the University of Arizona from 1995 to 2012. He played a role in establishing the Arizona Astronomy Board, creating the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter and assisting students in obtaining scholarships funds.  Make a Gift


Make a Donation by Check:

  • Make check payable The University of Arizona Foundation
  • In the memo section indicate which program you are donating to


Mail check to:

University of Arizona Foundation 

1111 N Cherry Ave., Room 403

P O Box 210109

Tucson, AZ 8721-0109


For Your Taxes:

Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law according to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax identification number is 86-6050388. The UA Foundation promptly sends a tax receipt by mail for all gifts of $10 or more.

Donations online or post marked by December 31, 2023 are tax deductible this year. 

Questions:  contact Cathi Duncan, Development Manager,  520-621-1320


For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.