Press release

SPIE and the University of Central Florida Announce $650,000 Scholarship Fund

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On February 3, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, announced the establishment of the SPIE-Glebov Family Optics and Photonics Graduate Scholarship Fund for the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL). The $325,000 in funding from SPIE will be matched in full by the College’s Research Foundation and the Glebov family, to create scholarships for graduate students at CREOL. The news was first presented at the UCF CREOL alumni and associates meeting at SPIE Photonics West.

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(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

“The generosity of Leonid Glebov and Larissa Glebova ensures promising opportunities for graduate students studying optics and photonics at UCF CREOL,” said SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. “We are delighted to join with the Glebovs in creating a scholarship fund that will exist in perpetuity to help support the next generations of scientists and engineers who will create the future using optics and photonics.”

Leonid Glebov, a research professor, and his wife, Larissa Glebova, a retired research scientist, are longtime members of UCF CREOL. “We are pleased to partner with SPIE and UCF CREOL to create an enduring scholarship for graduate students in the exciting field of optics and photonics,” said Glebov. “Together, we are investing in new opportunities for talented young people, because talent does not correlate with the ability to pay for an education.”

“With the matching funds from SPIE, the Glebov family’s gift creates a fully endowed scholarship for our graduate students. The scholarship will have immediate impact for our current students and will help us recruit the brightest minds in optics and photonics. SPIE’s support magnifies the impact of the gift and advances the future of this exciting field,” said Dr. David Hagan, Interim Dean of UCF CREOL.

The SPIE Endowment Matching Program, established in 2019, is a $2.5 million, five-year, educational-funding initiative designed to increase international capacity in the teaching and research of optics and photonics. SPIE supports optics and photonics education and the future of the industry by contributing up to $500,000 per award to college and university programs with optics and photonics degrees, or with other disciplines allied to the SPIE mission. The initial SPIE contribution to the University of Arizona named a new endowed faculty chair, the SPIE Chair in Optical Sciences.

SPIE encourages qualified institutions to establish future endowments with the Society, structuring funds to ensure perpetual or long-term availability for teaching and research. This program is in addition to over $5,000,000 provided in 2019 by SPIE to community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2019, SPIE provided more than $5 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources.