With $500,000 grant to University of Arizona, SPIE launches $2.5 million endowment matching program

Aug. 22, 2019

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has unveiled a $2.5 million, five-year educational-funding initiative: the SPIE Endowment Matching Program will enhance educational capacity in optics and photonics by supporting endowment funding at qualified institutions. The program adds to the more than $4 million that SPIE devotes annually to community support, including scholarships, travel grants, and student programs. The program's first grant of $500,000 creates the SPIE Chair in Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.

With this new matching program, SPIE will support optics and photonics education and the future of the industry by contributing up to $500,000 per award to college and university programs with optics and photonics degrees or with other disciplines allied to the SPIE mission. The initial SPIE contribution to the University of Arizona, matched by a factor of three with funds donated by James Wyant (professor emeritus at the University of Arizona's James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences) and his family, names a new, $2-million-endowed faculty chair. SPIE encourages qualified institutions to establish future endowments with the Society, structuring funds to ensure perpetual or long-term availability for teaching and research.

"The proposal to fund an endowed chair, initiated by Jim Wyant's philanthropy, generated a terrific reaction from the SPIE Board of Directors," says SPIE President Jim Oschmann. "We were delighted to approve this exciting program and look forward to creating multiple new endowments in partnership with our colleagues at educational institutions across the optics and photonics community."

For more information about the SPIE Endowment Matching Program, please visit www.spie.org/endowment.

Source: SPIE

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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