A new, endowed
distinguished professorship at The University of Texas at Arlington will honor
Fort Worth physicist and businessman Richard N. Claytor while strengthening the
University’s cutting edge optics-related research.
The professorship will
be funded by a $500,000 endowment recently established through a philanthropic
gift from Nelson E. Claytor, Richard Claytor’s son. Richard Claytor founded
Fresnel Technologies Inc., a leading manufacturer of molded plastic lenses and
related optical components based in Fort Worth. He now serves as vice president
of the company.
“Our hope is that
this commitment leads to more and more visible support for optics in this region,”
said Nelson Claytor, Fresnel Technologies president. “Where there are strong
networks of companies in a technology such as optics there are also strong
universities. There’s interaction between industry and the professors, and
there are students coming out of the program that want to be hired locally.”
Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington vice president for research and federal relations,
called Nelson Claytor’s gift “a prime example of the role that private
investment plays in furthering university research.” The gift will help UT
Arlington recruit a world-class faculty member to lead optics research within
investment will have a significant,
direct impact on the future of the optics industry and economic development in North Texas for generations to come,”
Nelson Claytor and
Fresnel Technologies committed $250,000 to create the distinguished
professorship in UT Arlington’s Physics Department. That sum will be matched by
the Maverick Match program, which
leverages the University’s natural gas royalties to encourage philanthropy and
bolster the University's endowment.
Jansma, dean of the College of Science, said Nelson and Richard Claytor have
been friends of the College for many years. Nelson Claytor is a longtime member
of its advisory council.
extremely grateful that they will help us fill this critical role,” Jansma
Nelson Claytor said
the named distinguished professorship is intended to honor his father for the
role he has played in shaping Fresnel Technologies and for the knowledge he has
shared industry-wide through the years. Richard Claytor holds a doctorate in
physics and 28 U.S. patents.
“I’ve been working
at the company since I was 12 years old in one way or another, and he’s taught
me quite a lot of different things, from how to control a machine for optics
manufacturing to how to run a company,” Nelson Claytor said of his father.
Optics research has led to advancements in a
wide variety of fields, from medical imaging to fiber optic communications. The
new distinguished professor in physics will join UT Arlington faculty from
multiple disciplines already engaged in innovations in the optics field.
The University of Texas at Arlington is
a comprehensive research university of 33,449 students in the heart of North
Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.