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Optical College to Receive $20M Donation

The gift will be divided over five years.

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TUCSON, AZ – The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences has received a $20 million pledge to support 10 new endowed faculty positions.

The gift comes from the college’s founding dean, Professor Emeritus James C. Wyant, and his family. It is the largest gift for endowed faculty chair positions in the university’s history, according to a press release.

“This is an incredible, enabling moment for the College of Optical Sciences, giving us an unprecedented opportunity to advance the rapidly expanding ways that optics and photonics can improve our lives,” said Thomas L. Koch, dean of the College of Optical Sciences.

The gift will be received over five years.

UA President Robert C. Robbins said, “Jim Wyant’s leadership, vision and support for students has already had an incredible impact on the UA College of Optical Sciences, and his legacy is one of the main reasons why the UA is a global leader in optics and photonics. We are all very grateful to Dr. Wyant and his family for their exemplary leadership and extraordinary generosity that will advance one of the university’s top priorities.”

He added that the gift “will support faculty and enhance our students’ experience by enabling an environment that fosters leadership, learning, collaboration and connections, and it will help shape the success of UA students far into the future.”

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Wyant has co-founded Tucson-based businesses in optics such as WYKO Corp. and  4D Technology Corp.

Wyant said, “I am especially grateful to the university for its incredible flexibility when I was partway through my teaching career and wanted to start a company (WYKO). The financial success of that business has made these gifts possible.”

The leading reason for his gifts, he said, is to “ensure a pathway for the College of Optical Sciences to achieve even greater prominence and success in its education and research mission.”

In 2013, Wyant made a historic $10 million gift to the college for graduate student scholarships in a campaign called FoTO, an acronym for Friends of Tucson Optics. As a result of his initial gift, more than 250 additional donors contributed and 30 first-year graduate student scholarship endowments were established, each bearing the name of a donor.

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Eyecare Pros Rate Their Happiness with Work … and Life

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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IN INVISION’S FIRST annual Big Survey, we asked ECPs their overall satisfaction with their professional lives … as well as their overall satisfaction with life.

The good news? As a group, ECPs are happy with their careers, reporting an average of 7.9 on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being “extremely dissatisfied” and 10 being “totally satisfied”). The better news? You’re happier with your life as whole. The average response there was 8.2 on a scale from 1 to 10.

The happiest among you in both areas? Owners of eyewear boutiques without an affiliated OD.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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Everything Is Bigger in the South, Including Eyecare Practices

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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SEEMS THAT EVERYTHING is bigger in the South, according to INVISION’s Big Survey. The Northeast is home to a disproportionate number of smaller vision businesses, while bigger practices are most common in the South. Thirty-one percent of the small stores/practices in our survey — those with less than 1,500 square feet — were in the Northeast, while 41 percent of the big ones — those over 3,000 square feet — were in the South. These large operations were mostly either private practices with a focus on retail or medical model private practices with a small dispensary.

How big is your (main) location?

Less than 500 sq. ft
4%
500-999 sq. ft.
10%
1,000-1,499 sq. ft.
24%
1,500-1,999 sq. ft.
17%
2000-2499 sq. ft.
15%
2500-2999 sq. ft.
11%
3000-3,999 sq. ft.
8%
4,000-5000 sq. .ft.
6%
More than 5000 sq. ft.
5%

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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Which State Has the Hardest-Working ECPs? And Which State Has the Weirdest? INVISION’s Big Survey Tells All!

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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INVISION’S FIRST ANNUAL Big Survey found out a lot of interesting information about the American ECP… even our Canadian friends to the north weighed in. We started with the basics, and they did not disappoint! Want to know which state has the most female owners, or which one has the weirdest ECPs? Here are few quick takes from the 2019 survey:

Californian ECPs were the least likely to own their places of business, with 82 percent renting.

Kansans were most likely to be open on Sunday with one in four stores and practices open on this traditional “rest” day.

They don’t take kindly to strangers asking questions in South Dakota. South Dakota, Louisiana and New Mexico were the only states not represented in our survey.

Michigan ECPs are some of the hardest working in the industry: 25 percent work more than 50 hours a week.

Florida had the most male owners and managers in our survey at 76 percent. Washington state had the most female owners at 86 percent.

Connecticut was tops for self-declared weirdness with ECPs there giving themselves an average score of 8.2 out of 10 on our weirdness scale.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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