The Egan Observatory is an extension of Whitaker Hall.
The observatory provides opportunities for students and community members to gain an intimate view of the stars and cosmic wonders of the universe.
The Observatory is named after the late Evelyn L. Egan, a Ft. Myers resident, the observatory was built to house the state-of-the-art research-quality telescope we have on campus.
The observatory has a 16-inch Ritchey Chretien reflection telescope, which has the same optical design as the Hubble Space Telescope. There are also 5 additional computerized, portable telescopes available for use in our astronomy classes. The observatory is utilized by faculty and students for teaching and research purposes and hosts a variety of community outreach events.
Fort Myers resident Evelyn L. Egan donated the funds to design and construct the Observatory named in her sake. Egan’s undisclosed monetary gift, which spurred construction of the edifice, came after a suggestion from David McQuade, a member of the Southwest Florida Astronomical Society. He thought FGCU would be an ideal location to the region for a worthy observatory.
The Egan Observatory boasts three powerful, computerized telescopes, in addition to a "state of the art" 16 inch Ritchey-Chretien reflective telescope, which is the same optical design as the Hubble Space Telescope on a smaller scale.
FGCU has an advantage over many other locations in the United States being situated in the southernmost region. Unlike areas to the North, FGCU has greater visual access to starry southern skies.
At the groundbreaking in 2000, Egan remarked, “This University will have everything it needs if people will help.”
President of the FGCU Foundation Fred Pezeshkan said that the gift was matched by the State of Florida to produce an academic building that will not only be used by FGCU students but also by the local Southwest Florida Astronomical Society and the community.
Installation of the Ritchey Chretien telescope