Bring the Struve Telescope Model Home to Texas!

We need your help to bring the model of our first telescope back to Texas for McDonald Observatory's 75th anniversary. Your gift can make the difference!
McDonald Observatory c/o University of Texas Foundation
Austin, Texas
United States
6 Team Members
This campaign is raising funds on behalf of University Of Texas Foundation, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose.

McDonald Observatory: 75 Years and Going Strong!

Since it was established in 1939, McDonald Observatory — a unit of the University of Texas at Austin — has been on the forefront of scientific research, as well as astronomy education and outreach, nationwide. Today, Texas astronomers play pivotal roles in research into dark energy, black holes, stars and galaxies, extrasolar planets, and more. And McDonald Observatory is engaging students and teachers across the country to further science education. 

On May 5th, 2014, the Observatory will celebrate 75 years since the dedication of its 82-inch Otto Struve Telescope. This campaign's mission is to bring the original Warner & Swasey model of the telescope home to Texas. It's been in Ohio, where it was built, for the past 25 years. If we succeed, the model will be put on display at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin in an exhibit celebrating our 75th anniversary. The exhibit will include a letter from president Lyndon B. Johnson about the dedication of the Observatory, as well as other never-before-seen pieces from the history of the McDonald Observatory and its 75-year Texas story. 

Why We Need Your Help

With your help and support, we will be able to safely transport the original 82-inch Warner & Swasey telescope model from Cleveland, Ohio back to Texas for our 75th anniversary!

By donating to our cause through the University of Texas Foundation, you won't just be sharing the history of McDonald Observatory you'll also be furthering the education of astronomy for children, students, and adults alike! You can contribute at one of our many perk levels and receive some cool new, and vintage items from McDonald Observatory. If you give at the highest level, your gift will be a private Special Viewing Night on the 36-inch telescope at the Observatory!

The Impact

It's no secret that there is a severe lack of interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related subjects in school right now. Just a few decades ago, 40% of the world's scientists resided in the U.S. Today, that number is at 15%It is our mission to raise awareness of that deficit and garner interest in these areas among individuals of all ages. And astronomy, which opens up the world as well as the mind, is a the perfect science to do that.

Your help with this project will allow access for children and current students to view the telescope model and learn more about its history, the history of the Observatory, and the history of astronomy. It could be this experience that sparks a love for science or  engineering in a young mind!

Your help could change this statistic and at the same time bring a beloved piece of Texas history back to its home state.

What You Get

You can choose your donation level according to the perk you want. Here are some of the exciting, and even exclusive, packages you can receive!

Other Ways You Can Help

No gift is too small! Even if you can't contribute at one of our many perk levels, you can always help by giving at a level you can afford — and you can help by spreading our message.

If you like the project, please talk about it with your friends! Use the links at the top or bottom of this page to view and share our Web site, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. 

Please help us bring home this piece of our history to share with students of all ages. Thank you!

Other Media

More About Our History

More About Our Anniversary Project

More About the Otto Struve Telescope

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to become a friend of McDonald Observatory, feel free to visit our Web site to learn more, or e-mail us at 

All donations given to this campaign are 100% tax-deductible and will be paid to McDonald Observatory through the UT Foundation.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 52 people in 2 months
39% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$18,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 5, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Thank You!

    For a donation of $5 you will receive a personal e-mail thank you from us, as well as updates about our project and the Observatory! You'll also be included in our Web site's donor hall of fame!

    4 claimed
  • $25USD
    Read the Magazine!

    For a $25 donation we will send you a single digital issue of the most current StarDate Magazine, the publication that McDonald Observatory puts out bi-monthly!

    4 claimed
  • $75USD
    1-year Digital Subscription!

    If you donate at or above $75 you will receive an entire year of the digital edition of StarDate magazine. Get ready to learn more about the universe!

    3 claimed
  • $100USD
    1yr StarDate Radio & Magazine!

    If you donate at or above $100, not only will you receive a year-long digital subscription to StarDate magazine, but you'll also get a full year of daily podcast programs from StarDate radio!

    6 claimed
  • $150USD
    Vintage Poster!

    If you donate at the $150 level, you will receive an Art Deco poster from the 50th anniversary of the Observatory. Only a limited number remain, so act soon! You will also receive digital subscriptions to StarDate radio and magazine.

    3 out of 50 claimed
  • $175USD
    75th Anniversary Poster!

    By donating $175 or more, you will receive the new 75th anniversary McDonald Observatory poster! You will also receive digital subscriptions to StarDate radio and magazine.

    1 out of 75 claimed
  • $250USD
    Both Posters!

    Act quickly to receive both the vintage 50th Anniversary poster, as well as the new 75th anniversary poster! You will also receive digital subscriptions to StarDate radio and magazine.

    2 out of 15 claimed
  • $500USD
    Observatory Gift Pack!

    Donate $500 or more to receive not only the two posters, but other exciting items from the McDonald Observatory!

    2 out of 10 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    A Friend of the Observatory!

    If you donate at this level, not only will you receive everything else already mentioned, you will become a friend of McDonald Observatory! You'll receive a year-long print subscription to StarDate magazine, as well as passes to the Observatory for you and your family!

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Experience the Observatoy!

    If you donate $5,000 to our mission, not only will you be sharing the astronomy experience with others, you will have the opportunity to experience it! You will receive a private star party for you and up to 14 others at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas. There you will get fabulous views through our 36-inch telescope, and will have the opportunity to stay at our Astronomer's Lodge. Please schedule your private visit 3 months in advance. Travel and lodging not included.

    0 out of 3 claimed
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.
Other Campaigns You Might Like