Public Release: 

Generosity of OSA past presidents brings endowed chairs in optical sciences to U Arizona

Gifts from James C. Wyant, Joseph and Hon Mai Goodman, Robert R. Shannon highlight generosity and support of optics and photonics community

The Optical Society

WASHINGTON -- -Two past presidents of The Optical Society (OSA) -- Joseph W. Goodman (1992) and Robert R. Shannon (1985) -- each have donated $500 thousand to create two endowed chairs in the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences in Tucson, Ariz., U.S.A.

Goodman, an OSA Fellow, and his wife Hon Mai have created the J.W. and H.M. Goodman Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences. Shannon's donation will fund the Robert R. Shannon Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences.

As a result of Goodman and Shannon's generosity, OSA past president and Fellow, James C. Wyant (2010), will match each of their gifts with a $1.5 million donation from the department's Distinguished Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences Fund. Wyant created the Distinguished Endowed Chair and fund in 2018 with a $20 million gift to the U. of Arizona College of Optical Sciences.

"This significant philanthropy by OSA Past Presidents Goodman, Shannon and Wyant demonstrates the high level of support that exists within the optics and photonics community," Elizabeth A. Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society said. "Endowed chairs named for these leaders will advance teaching and research to inspire while inspiring the next generation of optics and photonics scientists."

In 2018, OSA named Goodman the 2018 Honorary Member of The Optical Society, the most distinguished of all OSA Member categories. The honor recognizes his fundamental contributions in the fields of Fourier Optics and Optical Information Processing through his research, teaching and classic textbooks.

Shannon, an OSA Fellow, came to the University of Arizona as a professor of Optical Sciences in 1969. In 1984, he was appointed Director of the University's Optical Sciences Center (now College of Optical Sciences). Today he is Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences at the University.

Wyant is founding dean of the U. of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences. In addition to his academic leadership, he co-founded WYKO Corporation, 4D Technology and DMetrix.


About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.