Jack D. Gaskill was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 1957, he received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Colorado A&M College, now known as Colorado State University, where he was a member of the varsity wrestling team.
Upon graduation, he was hired by Motorola Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona, but he was soon called to duty by the United States Air Force. There, he became an instructor pilot for the T-33 aircraft. Once his service was completed in 1963, he decided to further his education through Stanford University’s electrical engineering graduate program. His Ph.D. adviser was Joseph W. Goodman.
In 1968, Jack was hired by the College of Optical Sciences (then the Optical Sciences Center) by Peter A. Franken to teach courses in coherent imaging and holography. He was later named OSC’s associate director for academic affairs. He held this position for 20 years, instituting a strong tradition of student support, recruitment and retention. While in this role, he founded OSC’s Industrial Affiliates program in 1980 and led the charge to establish an undergraduate degree program in optics in 1988.
Jack served as president of SPIE in 1995 and retired from the University of Arizona in 1999.
The Jack D. Gaskill Graduate Student Scholarship was founded by alumni and faculty at the college in sincere gratitude for Jack’s extraordinary contributions as a professor, adviser, mentor and administrator – and in appreciation for his legendary sense of humor.
The Jack D. Gaskill Graduate Student Scholarship is open to talented students worldwide, and selection will be based on academic excellence. This FoTO (Friends of Tucson Optics) scholarship is to be awarded to a first-year graduate student.
- Josh Magnus
- Aman Agrawal