Alumni of the Year

Every spring, the colleges of the University of Arizona have the opportunity to recognize an outstanding alumnus or alumna, who is then celebrated in the fall Homecoming festivities.

To date, we have honored the following OSC graduates:

2021 Alumnus of the Year: Jack Jewell, PhD 1984

In recognition of his many contributions to the advancement of optics technology and education, the University of Arizona Alumni Association selected Jack Jewell for the 2021 Alumnus of the Year Award for the Wyant College of Optical Sciences. Jewell earned his graduate degrees (MS ’81 and PhD ’84) from the University of Arizona. Among his many accomplishments, in 1991 Jewell co-founded Photonics Research Inc., the first company committed to commercializing VCSELs. In 1995, Jack also founded Picolight Inc. In 2017 Jewell launched the Jack Jewell Endowed Research Award for Extreme Optics through the Wyant College with a $100,000 donation. An annual award from this endowment is given to a Ph.D. student whose work best illustrates a passion for exceeding perceived “limitations” of optical technology in any subfield.



For questions about giving to the college, please contact Kaye Rowan, director of development, at or 520-626-8754.