Skip To Content

02 December 2016

The Optical Society Names Washington DC Headquarters for Dr. Jarus W. Quinn

2 December 2016

The Optical Society Names Washington DC Headquarters for Dr. Jarus W. Quinn

Serving as Society’s first Executive Director, Quinn grew a global membership and fostered new publications and meetings in optics and photonics

WASHINGTON —The Optical Society (OSA) announced today that its headquarters building will be named for Dr. Jarus W. Quinn, who served as OSA's first Executive Director and guided the growth of the Society from 1969 through 1994. The Optical Society, which celebrates its Centennial in 2016, has recently renovated its building located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C.

“2010 Massachusetts Avenue is not merely an office building, but it is the symbolic home of all of OSA's worldwide optics and photonics community,” said Alan E. Willner, 2016 President of The Optical Society and Steven & Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering, University of Southern California, California, USA. “Similarly, Jarus was not merely an OSA staff leader, but he truly embodied our entire community during 25 years of flourishing growth. Under Jarus’s inspirational leadership and personal efforts, OSA bought the building as an investment in OSA’s future. During our Centennial year, we can all pay grateful tribute to Jarus’ memory for his vision and passion to secure a headquarters building that will continue to serve the Society’s needs for years to come.”
Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of The Optical Society stated, "For 25 years, Jarus devoted himself to expanding OSA’s influence as a global professional society.  His guidance was of fundamental importance to the growth and continued success of the OSA.”
Colin Quinn remarked, “The Optical Society played a pivotal role in my father’s life. This recognition is a lasting testament to my father’s service to The Optical Society and members. On behalf of the Quinn family, we are honored for the continued recognition of my father’s passionate career.”
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. He paid particular attention to making the Society financially strong, enhancing its ability to serve the needs of its members. During his tenure, OSA's staff size grew from 7 to 90, and the annual budget grew from under $1 million to over $10 million to accommodate the rapidly increasing membership and its needs as optical science and technology made dramatic advances. Successful fund drives enabled OSA to move from rental space to its own headquarters building, and then to upgrade to the current headquarters location. 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 that OSA journals remained highly respected and in the forefront of scientific publishing. Under his leadership, 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. More than half of OSA's membership today resides outside the United States.

Quinn received numerous honors and awards throughout his long and prestigious career. In 2011, he was elected to Honorary Membership, OSA's highest designation, in recognition of "his exceptional leadership of the OSA as its Executive Director from 1969 through 1994 and the profound influence that he has had on making the society the success that it is today." He was named an OSA Fellow in 1969 and was awarded the OSA Distinguished Service Award in 1993 "for nearly a quarter-century of enthusiastic service and leadership in the scientific community as executive director of the Optical Society of America." 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/ Jarus W. Quinn Prize. Fund raising was completed in 1995, and the award is considered OSA's most prestigious.
About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit
OSA 100 Sponsors
The Optical Society acknowledges the generosity of our corporate sponsors and media partners: Thorlabs, Inc., Corning, Inc., Edmund Optics, Go!Foton, Hamamatsu Corporation, IDEX Corporation, Navitar, Inc., OFS, Optimax Systems, RPC Photonics, Inc., Synopsys, Inc., Toptica Photonics, Inc., TRUMPF, Inc., Business Wire, Laser Focus World and Photonics Media.

Media Contacts:
Image for keeping the session alive