$20 Million Gift

July 2, 2015

A donation from Richard F. Caris in support of the UA's commitment to the Giant Magellan Telescope project will ensure valuable access for University astronomers.

"We are grateful that Richard F. Caris has provided this generous gift to the UA, which will support our participation in the GMT, a critically important effort in the space sciences," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. "Mr. Caris has been an ardent supporter of the University for more than a decade and his contributions have helped establish the UA’s international prominence in astronomical research."
"This gift is transformational in that it not only moves the GMT project forward, but also UA's astronomy endeavor as a whole," said Buell Jannuzi, head of the UA Department of Astronomy and director of Steward Observatory. "Through the technology developed at our mirror lab, the UA enables the GMT to happen in the first place. This gift enables the UA to continue at the forefront of astronomical research through access to the telescope's unprecedented capabilities."
Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the UA College of Science, said: "The mirror lab is unquestionably one of the innovation jewels of our University. The lab is known around the world for creating the largest mirrors for astronomical use. It is fitting that it will now have the name of Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, as Mr. Caris is also an innovator with a very successful company in our state."
Dennis Zaritsky, professor of astronomy and deputy director of Steward Observatory, said astronomy "has come a long way" since those early days. "To a large degree, our future progress depends on philanthropy," he said. "Back then, people were observing galaxies, but they didn't know what they were. Nobody knew about exotic objects such as black holes, and no planets were known to exist outside our own solar system."  more >