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
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.