The endowed chairs in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences are prestigious faculty positions awarded to outstanding scholars, researchers, and educators in optical sciences. Named in honor of professional societies and highly accomplished individuals in science, engineering, medicine and business, these endowed chairs attract exceptional talent while also increasing the scope of research and education in the college. Each of the Endowed Chairs in Optical Sciences has created an entirely new faculty position, ensuring that donors have made indelible contributions to the vitality and future talent in the ever-expanding field of optics and photonics.
* The Wyant College of Optical Sciences completed one of the most ambitious fundraising endowed chair campaigns for a single college in the University of Arizona history over a three year period, 2018-2021. For the campaign, the college received a total $28 million in donations to establish 14 new endowed chairs, each with minimum of $2 million. In May 2018, Harrison and Catherine Barrett gifted the Harrison H. and Catherine C. Barrett Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences for Cancer Imaging, making it the first named endowed chair for the College. (Barrett Press Release) Later that year, the college's founding dean, Professor Emeritus James C. Wyant, Ph.D., and his family, made a $20 million pledge to support new endowed faculty positions at the College. To further the impact of this gift, Wyant agreed to transfer funds from his gift into a separate endowments in optical sciences when a donor created a new named endowed faculty chair. Thirteen endowed chairs resulted from the Wyant gift (who also gifted to the Barrett Chair). In January 2023, two more endowed chairs resulting from the Wyant gift will be announced. (Wyant News Release)