Arizona NOW Campaign Spotlights College of Optical Sciences

    Date Posted: 
    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Arizona NOW - Wyant speaks for the College of Optical Sciences

    In February, The University of Arizona officially celebrated the Arizona NOW fundraising campaign’s success for exceeding its $1.5 billion goal in record time. Raising a $1.59 billion total, this was the most ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign in UA history by reaching its goal within six years — nearly two years ahead of schedule. Arizona NOW's priorities focused on providing opportunities for students, supporting faculty and research and investing in University outreach initiatives.  

    A major factor in this success story was the College of Optical Sciences FoTO (Friends of Tucson Optics) Scholarship Campaign in 2014-2016. At the Arizona NOW celebration held on February 10 at the UA Football Stadium, Dr. James C. Wyant was honored for his extraordinary gift of $10 million dollars to fund graduate student FoTO (Friends of Tucson Optics) scholarships. 

    Following a video introduction, Dr. Wyant spoke generously to the audience about the teamwork of 245 donors who joined him in raising nearly $13 million to fund 27 Graduate Student FoTO Scholarship endowments, each with a minimum $500,000 endowment balance. Joined on stage by 55 currently enrolled graduate students who received a FoTO scholarship, Dr. Wyant firmly stated that "the College of Optical Sciences is the BEST optics academic program in the world and these donors - and our students - are a credit to this reputation." According to Wyant, the FoTO scholarship donors ranged from the College’s alumni and professors, as well as family foundations, an optics/photonics professional association and friends in the optics community. "We even had three professors from competing university programs and one of our own graduate students each establish a FoTO endowment," he said.  

    Dr. Wyant matched every gift made to these scholarships four-to-one, while donors gifting $100,000 or more to establish an endowment were also able to name the scholarship. 

    "This (Arizona NOW) campaign is an above-and-beyond success, and I could not be more grateful to the University of Arizona community for its outpouring of support," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. "Thanks to each and every donor who made a gift, Arizona NOW will shape the legacy of this great institution for generations to come."

    See a complete list of the FoTO scholarships on the Internal Scholarships page of the OSC website.   

    James C Wyant speaks at the 2017 Arizona NOW Celebration

    James C Wyant speaks at the 2017 Arizona NOW Celebration

    Photos: Jacob Chinn, UA Alumni Association