Jarus W. Quinn Named Honorary Member of the Optical Society


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Jarus W. Quinn Named Honorary Member of the Optical Society

Quinn honored for his exceptional leadership of OSA and his profound influence on the Society's success

Jarus QuinnWASHINGTON, Nov. 3–The Optical Society (OSA) Board of Directors announced today that it has elected Jarus W. Quinn as the newest Honorary Member of the Society. Quinn was chosen for his visionary leadership as OSA's first executive director and his 25-year commitment to the Society's growth and success. Quinn served as OSA's executive director from 1969 through his retirement in 1994.

"OSA owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Jarus for his influence on the entire field of optics as well as all that he has done to make the Society the foremost global scientific, technical, and educational organization that it is today," said OSA President Christopher Dainty. "His guidance was of fundamental importance to the growth and continued success of OSA. The Society is a significantly more vibrant institution because of the many contributions made by Jarus."

Quinn earned a Ph.D. in physics from the Catholic University of America in 1964, where he remained as a research faculty member until 1969. During that time he became active in OSA, just as the Society was growing rapidly. In 1969, OSA's Executive Secretary, Mary Warga, was nearing retirement and needed assistance in administering the Society. As a result, Quinn was hired as OSA's first executive director.

Quinn's vision for OSA was one of a membership-driven organization that exists to implement and carry out the directives of the member leaders. During his tenure, both OSA's staff size and budget grew significantly to accommodate the rapidly increasing membership and its needs as optical science and technology made dramatic advances. Particular attention was paid to making the Society financially strong, enhancing its ability to serve the needs of its members. Quinn also sought to make OSA a leader in optics knowledge, education and outreach. As part of that effort, journal publication operations were brought in-house, ensuring OSA journals remained highly respected and in the forefront. Under Quinn, conferences and topical meetings, such as the highly successful Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) and the Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC), were established to serve industry needs, foster new areas of research and showcase scientific and engineering advances in the field. Another OSA focus championed by Quinn was on expanding its international membership and the services provided to them, a remarkably successful endeavor as OSA now spans 175 countries.

Quinn has received numerous honors and awards throughout his long and prestigious career, including being named an OSA Fellow in 1969 and being awarded the OSA Distinguished Service Award in 1993. Upon his retirement in 1994 the OSA membership began a fund drive to establish an endowment in his name that would fund the Frederick Ives Medal/ Quinn Prize. Fund raising was completed in 1995, and the award is considered OSA's most prestigious.

Honorary membership at OSA is given to those who have made unique, seminal contributions to the field of optics. The number of Honorary Members cannot exceed two-thousandths (2/1000) of the total OSA membership. Election requires the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee and the Awards Committee of the Board. For a complete listing of OSA's honorary members, visit OSA's website.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A photo of Jarus Quinn is available for members of the media. Please contact Sarah Cogan, scogan@osa.org.

About OSA
Uniting more than 130,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.