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Support Us

“The goal of the WVU Planetarium is to help visitors connect to the Universe. We believe that planetariums play an important role in inspiring future generations of learners and explorers. All our shows are free; this is a service we do for the community.”

— Jason Ybarra, Director of the WVU Planetarium and Observatory
Jason Ybarra

Message From Our Director

The WVU Planetarium and Observatory plays a vital role in STEM education for students and citizens of the State of West Virginia and beyond. Our presentations reveal a magnificent simulation of starry skies and other immersive scenes that create vivid and exciting educational experiences to entice and effectively enable people to learn about the universe we live in.

Experiences in a planetarium can contribute to improved outcomes in traditional school settings. Moreover, students are more likely to choose STEM careers after their planetarium experience. Planetariums are among the most durable, versatile, and cost-effective of educational tools. Worldwide, planetariums are the classrooms and theaters of public science education that have served our local communities for generations.

We live in a time when quality science education is more important than ever and a scientifically literate public is an essential part of the progress of any community. Planetariums both inspire and educate people of all ages about our place in the Universe. 

Please consider supporting the WVU Planetarium in a one time gift or planned gifts.

Help Us Expand Our Reach

A 30 inch Dobsonian telescope was donated to us — we need your support to give it a home! Help us build a custom structure for this telescope on the WVU Ruby Research Farm to create the new WVU Preston County Observatory.

For more than 30 years, the planetarium at West Virginia University has given Morgantown and the surrounding communities a  glimpse  into worlds beyond our own.

In order to continue to serve our local communities, and expand our outreach capabilities, we are working diligently to fundraise for a new, custom structure which will house our 30” Dobsonian telescope on the WVU Ruby Research Farm and create the new WVU Preston County Observatory. 

We have almost all of the pieces of the puzzle together!

We need to raise $15,000 to push this project over the edge to begin construction. We have the site and the telescope; we just need to raise funds for the structure to safely house the telescope. Once complete, the outreach efforts and community engagement projects will be endless!  We have so many exciting ideas on how to continue to serve and reach new audiences here in the state, and beyond through the power of curiosity in astronomy. 

To support, give to designated fund  WVU Preston County Observatory - 2W1743

30 inch Dobsonian Telescope

Ways to Give

To support the every day needs of the planetarium, give to the General Fund for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. To support our 30" Dobsonian telescope and observatory, give to the fund WVU Preston County Observatory - 2W1743.

Give Online

Visit the WVU Foundation website to give by Credit Card, ACH, Paypal, Venmo and Apple Pay/Google Pay.

Donate Online

Give By Phone

Call WVU foundation at 1-866-693-7153. They will be happy to take your donation over the phone. 

Call 866-693-7153

Give by Mail

Mail a giving form and check (payable to WVU Foundation) with your chosen designation in the memo line.

Printable Donation Form

More Info

To make a gift by wire transfer or explore ways to give, visit the WVU Foundation website to learn more.

WVU Foundation

Scroll to view panorama of cleared site

Panoramic view of the Preston County Observatory site on the Ruby Research Farm.