Two Score and Ten More

OSC Students and Faculty - 1967

(A Lyrical Recounting of OSC’s 50 Years)
By Professor Emeritus Jack D. Gaskill

An astronomer named Meinel worked on Kitt Peak,
Where light from distant galaxies he did seek.
But this career was not final
For the astronomer Meinel,
Because into academia he chose to peek.

At the U of A he became a huge renter,
Over the objections of many a dissenter.
Though it didn’t happen overnight,
It was clear he saw the light,
When he created the Optical Sciences Center.

Jack GaskillThe regents finally quit fretting,
And on Aden they went a-betting.
The early years were quite rough
Because getting funding was tough,
And to Washington he often went jetting.

In the beginning he exhibited defiance,
By starting out in Planetary Science.
He first hired a guy named Shack
To lead the optics pack,
On whom he had great reliance.

A few years after he hired Shack,
Along came a young guy named Jack.
Jack was an EE by training,
And in optics he was straining,
But Aden told him not to look back.

Jack taught many classes about Fourier,
Which some enrollees expected would be foreplay.
But after lots of homework,
They would give up their smirk.
I don’t know what else to say.

At first there were only advanced degrees,
That is, only masters and Ph.Ds.
But after years of trying,
And a great deal of prying,
The administration began to unfreeze.

Now here we are in twenty-fourteen,
After two score and ten years in between.
No longer must we wait,
As things are looking great,
And light still propagates as can be seen.

Aden, we’re sorry you can’t be here tonight,
To celebrate the program you started with light.
But we thank you so much,
And I do mean very much,
For making the future so bright.