Mary Jo Lake Memorial Fellowship in Optical Sciences

Mary Jo Lake Memorial Fellowship in Optical Sciences

Mary Jo Lake was born in St. Paul, Minn., in 1920 and passed away in July 2000. Due to her husband's work as a metallurgical engineer, she established homes in various areas of the western United States. Before settling in Arizona, she spent a few years in Greenwich, Conn., and Cleveland, Ohio. She enjoyed traveling; during her lifetime, she visited remote areas of Africa, Malaysia and Finland.

Lake did a great deal to encourage the talents and interests of her daughters, both of whom are now active in fine arts. The oldest, Nancy Benson, is a trustee of the Denver Art Museum and spent a number of years as a volunteer assistant to the museum in various activities. The youngest, Mary Lake Thompson, has established with her husband a very successful giftware company based on her artistic designs.

Before her death, Mary Jo Lake and her husband, James, established a fellowship for female students in the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences. The pair also established a number of foundation programs for education at the Colorado School of Mines.


The Mary Jo Lake Memorial Fellowship in Optical Sciences is offered to an outstanding female applicant enrolled in the graduate degree program at the College of Optical Sciences.

2021-202: Clarissa DeLeon and Laura Sawyer
2020-2021: Shelbi Jenkins and Kira Purvin
2019-2020: Jilian Nguyen and Micaehla May
2018-2019: Page King
2017-2018: Lauren Schatz
2016-2017: Maryam Tanbal
2015-2016: Nirantha Balagopal
2014-2015: Kerry Nierenberg
2013-2014: Amanda Chatterton
2012-2013: Ashley Warren Valdez
2011-2012: Elizabeth Jesse
2010-2011: Raisa Trubko
2009-2010: Samantha White
2008-2009: Katie Schwertz
2007-2008: Lori Moore
2006-2007: Julia Craven
2005-2006: Paula Smith
2003-2004: Leah Lucas
2001-2002: Meredith Whitaker
2000-2001: Kristin Lundgren Loychik