From UC Santa Cruz: “$1 million gift creates William Wallace Campbell Director’s Fund for Lick Observatory”

UC Santa Cruz

From UC Santa Cruz

January 08, 2020
Tim Stephens

New endowment honoring the third director of Lick Observatory will support current and future directors’ priorities for the observatory.

William Wallace Campbell served as director of Lick Observatory from 1901 to 1930. (Photos courtesy of Mary Lea Shane Archives, Lick Observatory)

UC Santa Cruz has received a gift of $1 million to establish the William Wallace Campbell Director’s Fund for Lick Observatory in the University of California Observatories (UCO).

The gift honors the memory of William Wallace Campbell, who served as the third director of Lick Observatory from 1901 to 1930, and was made by one of his granddaughters. Campbell also served as president of the University of California from 1923 to 1930, and as president of the National Academy of Sciences from 1931 to 1935.

Born on a farm in Hancock County, Ohio, in 1862, Campbell got interested in astronomy as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, where he earned his B.S. in 1886. Lick Observatory began operations in 1888, and Campbell soon began spending his summers there. In 1891 he was invited to join its full-time staff.

A pioneer of astronomical spectroscopy, Campbell also spent decades measuring the radial velocities of stars to establish the spatial drift of the solar system. He led a 1922 Lick Observatory expedition to Australia to capture images during a solar eclipse that were used as final confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Campbell became a member of the full-time staff at Lick Observatory in 1891.

“William Wallace Campbell was an extraordinary man, and it’s a deep honor to receive this gift in his name. Lick Observatory would not be the vibrant scientific facility it is today without the ongoing donor support of our community,” said UCO Director Claire Max, the Bachmann Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

The William Wallace Campbell Director’s Fund will be used to support the UCO Director’s priorities at Lick Observatory. The endowment continues Campbell’s legacy of leadership and represents a major step toward establishing the long-term financial sustainability of the observatory.

Lick Observatory is located on the summit of Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range east of San Jose. Founded in 1888, Lick Observatory is at the forefront of astronomical research as an active research facility. It is operated by the University of California Observatories (UCO), a multi-campus research unit that serves eight UC campuses and is headquartered at UC Santa Cruz. More information is available online at

See the full article here .

[This blogger was proud to be a participant in saving US$725,000 of UC funding when US with a US$ 21 billion budget threatened to defund Lick which had a US$1.2 million budget with the University. I constantly donate as a Friend of Lick, FOLO. I also sponser a US$1000 scholarship honoring Dr Sandra Faber, Professor emeritus and former director of the UCO system. Dr Faber was one of the saviors of the NASA/ESA Hubble telescope which had a slightly deformed mirror. She was a major contributor to Co-Star which saved Hubble]


Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

Stem Education Coalition

UCSC is the home base for the Lick Observatory.

Most photos by Laurie Hatch

UCSC Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft)


UC Observatories Lick Autmated Planet Finder, fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA

The UCO Lick C. Donald Shane telescope is a 120-inch (3.0-meter) reflecting telescope located at the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft)

UC Santa Cruz campus

The University of California, Santa Cruz opened in 1965 and grew, one college at a time, to its current (2008-09) enrollment of more than 16,000 students. Undergraduates pursue more than 60 majors supervised by divisional deans of humanities, physical & biological sciences, social sciences, and arts. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in more than 30 academic fields under the supervision of the divisional and graduate deans. The dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering oversees the campus’s undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.

UCO UCSC Lick Observatory’s Great Lick 91-centimeter (36-inch) telescope housed in the South (large) Dome of main building