Former Dean Pledges $20 Million To University Of Arizona

Published: Monday, December 31, 2018 - 9:25am
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
University of Arizona's campus.

A professor emeritus at the University of Arizona has pledged a record $20 million to his alma mater. The gift is a result of how UA treated him.

James Wyant said he’s grateful to the university for its flexibility when he wanted to start a company and allowing him to work part time for more than a dozen years as the company grew.

Wyant said the financial success of WKYO Corp. made the gift to the College of Optical Sciences possible. It’s the largest gift of its kind in the University’s history. The money will be used to create at least ten endowed chairs which are faculty positions focused on research.

In 1974, Wyant joined the UA as an assistant professor and in 1999 he was named director of the Optical Sciences Center. Wyant became the founding dean as the center transitioned to a college in 2005.

Since it was established in 1964, the College of Optical Sciences has awarded more than 2,800 degrees and identifies as having the nation’s largest and most diverse academic optics education and research program.

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