Adler Planetarium


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Support the Adler

Deepen your understanding of  the past, present, and future of astronomy and space sciences by joining one of the Adler's affiliates groups.

Joining an affiliate group supports the Adler's mission to inspire exploration and understanding of our Universe through educational programming and its collections. Your contributions help develop thrilling exhibitions and shows; cutting-edge research and education programs. 

The Women's Board

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Adler's Lead Partner in Education

The Women’s Board is the Adler’s lead partner in education, supporting the museum’s education, research, and advocacy missions. Since 2002, the board has provided essential support for the Adler’s marquee education programs. The fundraising and outreach of the Women’s Board are vital to the museum’s efforts to engage women and minorities in science.

Celestial Ball

The Celestial Ball is the Adler's annual black-tie gala attended by more than 650 business, civic, and philanthropic leaders. Hosted by the Adler Planetarium Women’s Board, this special evening raises over $1.7 million to benefit the museum’s STEM education programs for at-risk Chicago youth. This year, the Adler recognized BMO Harris Bank with the 2015 Corporate Partner Award for their ongoing support and contribution to the planetarium.


Women in Space Science Award Celebration

The annual Women in Space Science (WISS) Award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In addition to a luncheon, the celebration includes an afternoon program of engaging STEM workshops for young women from Chicago Schools. The 2015 award luncheon took place on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 and honored Sunita L. Williams, NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain.
2015 Chair: Tanya R. Silvio
2015 Co-Chairs: Lisa H. Bertagna and Anja Schulmeyer
For more information please contact 312.322.0523 or


Current Women's Board Members

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Elisa Primavera-Bailey, President
Linda I. Celesia*, Founder
Cynthia L. Ballew* 
Erika Bartelstein
Donna Beering
Carolyn Berg
Lisa Bertagna
Sherry Schmitter Block
Kate Boege
Amanda Bonnell
Jennifer Burnette
Rebecca Childers Caleel                       Angie DiCarlo
Loli DiSanto
Susan V. Downing*


 *past president

Yasmina Duwe
Tacy F. Flint
Sarah M. Fritz
Linda leleja Gerstman
Jacqui Hawwa
Mel Cooney Higgins
Katherine C. Hunt
Caroline Becker Joss*
Mary Ann Karris
Naomi Knappenberger, Ph.D.
Adrienne Kolb
Lisa H. Lewis                                        Susan K. Lovell
Carlette McMullan

Teri Montes 
Donna More
Laura Myntti 
Penny Obenshain
Pamela Paziotopoulos
Pamela Pohl
Meg Prendergast* 
Meg Sauer
Anja Schulmeyer
Mihra Seta
Tanya R. Silvio
Orli D. Staley
Nancy A. Temple*
Michelle Vanderlaan

Friends of the Webster Institute

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Support the Adler's Collections

The Adler Planetarium's Webster Institute houses one of the world's most valuable collections of historic scientific instruments, rare books, maps, works on paper, and materials documenting the exploration of the Universe.

Join the Friends of the Webster Institute to strengthen and preserve the museum's permanent collections while enjoying special benefits, including exclusive friends-only events and behind-the-scenes tours with curators throughout the year. Membership in the Friends of the Webster Institute is open to all Adler Annual Fund and Shepard Society members for an additional $100 annually.

Exclusive Benefits

Includes ALL benefits of your Annual Fund or Shepard Society membership, PLUS: 

  • Annual Webster Memorial Lecture reception with speaker
  • Exclusive, friends-only events highlighting the Adler collections
  • Private behind-the-scenes tour led by a museum expert or scientist
  • Recognition as a Friends of the Webster Institute in the Adler's Annual Report to Donors

For more information, or to join today, please contact the Advancement Office at 312.322.0332 or email