Tombaugh Fund

The Tombaugh Fund was established and funded between 1986 and 1992 thanks to the generous donation of an anonymous supporter and matching donations from faculty and alumni of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The Fund is named in honor of KU's most famous astronomy alumnus, Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto, and the namesake of the campus observatory. The Fund is set up to support the needs of the undergraduate majors within the Astronomy program and occasional equipment needs of the Observatory. A prime focus of the Fund was the support of undergraduates involved in research over the summer months; Tombaugh Summer Interns receive $1000 for living expenses to remain in Lawrence and work with a faculty member on an astrophysically-related project. In 2006, the award was changed to a four-year scholarship of up to $1000/yr for an undergraduate Astronomy major. Awardees since the inception of the program are listed below.

Donate to the Tombaugh Fund

The success of the Tombaugh Fund has only been possible due to the generosity of a wide array of individuals linked by a common interest in maintaining and improving the quality of the Astronomy program at KU, especially in expanding the opportunities available to the heart and soul of the program, the students. Donations to the Tombaugh Fund are always needed and always welcome, no matter what the size. Dr. Tombaugh himself generously contributed to the support of the Fund by donating autographed copies of his biography by David Levy.

Donate online

Want to help in some other way? Astronomy program needs

Clyde Tombaugh book

These signed copies are available to any donor who contributes $500 or more to the Tombaugh Fund.

Tombaugh Summer Interns

  • 1994 Anthony Michael
  • 1997 Andrew Bricker
  • 1998 Andrew Bricker
  • 1999 Scott Clark
  • 2001 Nathan De Lee
  • 2002 Misty Cracraft
  • 2004 Misty Cracraft
  • 2004 Lindsay Mayer

Tombaugh Scholarship Awards

  • 2006 Katie Henderson
  • 2007 Adam Fiedler
  • 2008 Jeremy Ims
  • 2010 Gregory Pach


If you have any interest in helping the program in any way, please contact us at the Department of Physics and Astronomy by email or phone at
Dr. Greg Rudnick or 785-864-4099 
Dr. Steve Hawley or 785-864-5098 
Dr. Anthony-Twarog or 785-864-3910 
Dr. Bruce Twarog or 785-864-5163 
or Jenna Goodman at at the KU Endowment Association.