Planetarium Project

This campaign ended on May 31, 2018, but you can still make a gift to Loras College by clicking here!

Five students in the Loras College Honors Program are tackling the task of replacing the projector in the campus’ Heitkamp Planetarium.


The Heitkamp Planetarium, built in 1964, is a valuable asset to not only the college but the surrounding communities as well.  It is the only functioning planetarium in a 100-mile radius, and, sadly, we use the term “functioning” lightly.


The projector in the planetarium is the original 1963 Goto Venus that was initially installed upon the completion of the facility. Originally, this technology could project and mimic the motions of over 2,800 stars, as well as the sun, moon, and visible planets.

In its current state, the Venus projector has large areas of black where the star lamps are burned out. The sun, moon, planets, and rotation are no longer in working order. Each year more aspects of the projector are irreparably lost. Given its age and state of function, it is time to retire this historic machine.


That’s where you come in!


In order to remain the valuable asset that it is, the planetarium is in need of a new projector: the Carl Zeiss’ STARMASTER.  This state of the art model will project over 9,100 stars as well as the sun, moon, and planets.  It also uses fiber optics and a scintillation device to replicate the natural flickering of stars!

With the installation of this projector, the students working on the project hope to extend its new resource to the local and greater Dubuque community. Hosting entertainment events for teens and adults, designing a summer camp program to immerse kids in this STEM-enriched opportunity, and better equipping the students of Loras College with more knowledge of the universe within and outside our own solar system are just the start!


We hope you consider supporting this project, bringing the community closer together and allowing them the opportunity to better their education in such a valuable and coveted field.


We look forward to seeing you at one of our fund-raising events at the planetarium! We thank you for your support and appreciate your donation!


The following are this year’s spring events to be held:


-Friday, February 16th at 7:00 pm showing Wall-E

-Friday, March 2nd at 7:00 pm showing Guardians of the Galaxy

-Friday, April 20th at 7:00 pm showing Apollo 13

-Tuesday, May 1st at 7:00 pm showing Avatar

Donor affiliations


31% Alumni

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8% Students

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13% Parents

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4% Faculty/Staff

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12% Friends

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Donor list

Blake Dirksen & Rachael Dirksen
Jennifer Gubbels
Anonymous
Jeffrey R Heitzman
Alan Boyle
Brian Mangual
Michael P. Friend & Karin S. Friend
Cynthia Kaufman Grether
Michael Otto
Jay and Margaret Bauer
Emily Day
Erin VanLaningham
Thomas C. O'Brien
Kurt Timmerman & Katy Timmerman
Kevin J. Koch, Ph.D. & Dianne M. Koch
Lauren Grether
Sara Eggers
Tom Meaney & Joyce
Mary Dreckman
Kathleen M Ehlbeck
LauraKay Falkenstein Lamecker
Lisa Finnegan photoLisa Finnegan & Brian Finnegan
Michael Stoltz
Walt and Teresa Droeske
Don & Cindy Blake

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