Thomas W. Haas Foundation Endows Observatory, Education
The Thomas W. Haas Foundation’s $6 million gift to the National Air and Space Museum, made in memory of Phoebe Waterman Haas, funds reconstruction and maintenance of the downtown museum’s public observatory. It also endows an education program for visitors and students and full-time astronomy educator positions. Phoebe Waterman Haas, grandmother of the foundation’s president, earned a Ph.D in astronomy at the University of California Berkeley in 1913, the first woman to do so. To recognize the foundation’s generosity, the observatory is named in her honor. Previous philanthropy by the foundation has benefitted the museum, the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.