Endowed Chair Created at University of Arizona James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences

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TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 20, 2019 — The Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation has endowed a chair in optical sciences at the University of Arizona (UA), named in honor of UA President Emeritus John Paul Schaefer, who is credited with establishing the university as a leading research university.

John Paul Schaefer. Courtesy of the University of Arizona.

The John Paul Schaefer Endowed Chair is the fourth position associated with the Distinguished Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences Fund, created by James C. Wyant, founding dean of the university’s College of Optical Sciences. The first two to be announced were the J.W. and H.M. Goodman Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences and the Robert R. Shannon Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences. In August, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, added its name to an endowed faculty chair position at the college.

In November 2018, Wyant donated $20 million to establish the Distinguished Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences Fund. The fund was created to recruit a minimum of 10 faculty members to the college by augmenting other gifts; whenever a donor or group offers $500,000 to create a named endowed chair, the fund transfers $1.5 million to bolster the endowment.

The Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Research Corporation Technologies Inc. (RCT) to provide financial support for scientific research and educational programs. RCT is a Tucson-based technology investment and management company that provides early-stage funding and development for promising biomedical companies and technologies. Schaefer serves on the RCT board of directors.

“This endowment uniquely merges the vision and dedication of two incredible university partners to elevate our capacity for education and research for long-term global leadership,” UA President Robert C. Robbins said. “During his tenure as the university’s president, John Schaefer advocated powerfully for academic and research growth. His legacy and enduring commitment to this university and its advancement of science continue to inspire. It is most fitting that a new endowed chair in optical sciences bear his name.”

Published: September 2019
BusinessendowmentsdonationUniversity of ArizonaJames Wyantjohn paul schaefereducation

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