$20 million gift to support the UA’s participation in the GMT project



TO: UA Campus Community
FROM: Ann Weaver Hart, President
DATE: December 15, 2014
SUBJECT: $20 million gift to support the UA’s participation in the GMT project


I am very pleased to announce a gift of $20 million from Richard F. Caris that will support the University of Arizona’s participation in the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project.  When completed in 2020 the GMT will be the largest ground-based telescope in the world, with more than six times the light-gathering capability of telescopes operating today. Mr. Caris’ gift guarantees the UA’s continued membership in the international partnership building the GMT and ensures our continued global leadership in astronomy and related areas of research.

Mr. Caris has been an important partner of the University of Arizona, particularly the Steward Observatory, for many years, and this gift extends a legacy of great impact on the UA and on the international field of astronomy. In recognition of the gift, the UA’s mirror lab, which will provide all eight of the GMT's primary mirrors (7 of which will be in use at one time), will be renamed the “Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab.” Under the leadership of its director, UA Regents' Professor Roger P. Angel, the mirror lab has earned worldwide recognition for producing giant, lightweight mirrors of unprecedented power for a new generation of optical and infrared telescopes.

Mr. Caris’s generosity is a wonderful example of the transformative impact of philanthropic partnership here at the UA and his gift is a vital contribution to the UA’s Arizona NOW Campaign. We are extraordinarily grateful for his partnership and look forward to the advances that it will enable through the GMT and the Mirror Lab.