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Friends of Steward Observatory

Welcome Friends of Steward Observatory,

Nearly 100 years ago, Lavinia Steward gave $60,000 to the founder of the department of physics and astronomy, Andrew Ellicott Douglass. This was the first private philanthropic gift to the University of Arizona. This gift launched Steward Observatory and brought to campus the first American made reflecting 36” telescope.

The Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory is a world-renowned institution at the forefront of modern astronomy. We sustain one of the largest and most innovative communities of researchers and students on the planet. Developing the expertise and early careers of undergraduate and graduate students is an essential component of building and sustaining our strong and diverse science community. 

In April 2023 we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Steward Observatory dome and telescope. This celebration recognized our achievements of the past and then pivoted to the future and the next 100 years of discoveries that await our faculty, students, and staff.

As a Friend of Steward Observatory your donation helps to enrich the education, research and environment of our Astronomy department and Steward Observatory. 

Friends of Steward Observatory funds go to:

  • 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. 

Donations are tax deductible. 

Make a donation:

  • Checks should be made payable to "University of Arizona Foundation", with a note on the memo/subject line of, for Friends of Steward Observatory
  • Mail to: University of Arizona Foundation, 1111 N. Cherry Avenue.P.O. Box 210109, Tucson, AZ 85721-0109

Or make an online donation 

For more information: Cathi Duncan, Development Manager,  520-621-1320

"If there is anything that can bind the heavenly mind of a man to this dreary exile of our earthly home and can reconcile us with our fate so that one can enjoy living, then it is verily the enjoyment of the mathematical sciences and astronomy." -Johannes Kepler

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.