The Professor Harvey B Richer Astronomy Development Fund

Professor Harvey Richer’s passion for stellar astrophysics is a hallmark of his extraordinary career.

He has been deservedly recognized for scientific achievements at the highest level for his work investigating the evolution of star systems and studying white dwarfs in the pursuit of greater knowledge about the dynamical evolution of stellar systems, the nature of dark matter, the age of the Universe, and the formation of galaxies.

Harvey’s brilliant research in observational astronomy was complemented by his generous commitment to educational outreach. His curiosity and enthusiasm were infectious: it was impossible to come away from a conversation with Harvey and not be more curious and enthused about the wonders the Universe holds.

The absence of an astronomical observatory at UBC has been acutely felt since the Geophysics & Astronomy Building, which housed a telescope, was demolished in 2010. It has been a loss for Astronomy students and researchers, and for the greater public as well: Harvey remembers that thousands would come to campus for a glimpse of an astronomical event, many experiencing the excitement of looking through a powerful telescope for the first time.

Harvey’s colleagues at the Department of Physics & Astronomy (PHAS) would like to celebrate the outstanding contributions Harvey has made as an innovative researcher, a respected teacher and a deeply appreciated colleague by establishing an observatory here, at the university which has been his professional home for 50 illustrious years.

The Professor Harvey B Richer Astronomy Development Fund will receive donations towards a new observatory to be situated on the roof of the recently renewed Hebb Building in the center of the UBC Vancouver campus. The fund will be administered by the PHAS department.


Artist's rendering showing the new observatory on the roof of the Hebb Building.


Access to a modern, high-quality telescope is important for astronomy students: from observations and research to on-site technical work and instrument development, the new observatory will be integrated into undergraduate and graduate programs. 

The new telescope and dome will quickly become a landmark on the Point Grey campus and a community hub. PHAS will once again be able to host public observation gatherings and to engage school students and children attending summer camps, inspiring the next generation of astronomers.



UBC is a registered charity and will issue tax receipts for eligible donations to The Professor Harvey B Richer Astronomy Development Fund at UBC in accordance with CRA regulations. To inquire about EFTs, gifts of securities or The American Foundation for The University of British Columbia, or if you would like to know more about the planned observatory, please contact: 

Fiona Beaty
Associate Director, Development, UBC Faculty of Science
Phone: 604.827.4406 | Cell: 604.318.1533 



Donors should always consult their own financial and tax advisors about appropriateness and validity of charitable contribution tax deductions in their jurisdiction.