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When he graduated from UCLA, Lawrence E. Tannas Jr.’59, M.A.’61 could never have predicted that his scientific research would contribute to the development of one of society’s most ubiquitous products: information displays. From LCD televisions to cell phones to scopes on spacecraft, these luminous displays are now considered essential for security, communications, entertainment and myriad other aspects of modern life.

To honor the training he received at his alma mater, Tannas and his wife Carol have established an endowed faculty chair at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science that will advance research in the field for generations to come.

Vijay Dhir, dean of the school, explains, “Carol and Larry understand first-hand the impact of an education here, and the challenges of sustaining and building a world-class faculty who make that education possible.”

The couple demurs at the compliment. “I got my start at UCLA,” says Larry Tannas, “so establishing the endowed chair is a small token.” Carol continues, “Especially considering how much the experiences at UCLA have benefited our lives, we wanted to give back!”

“Information display is an exciting area for engineering,” says Dean Dhir, “especially on the materials science side. How can displays be more efficient? More durable? Less expensive? The Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Chair in Engineering will serve as a lightning rod, drawing the best faculty, and with them the best students, to look at these and other important challenges in engineering.”

Engineering student working with faculty member
Smiling engineering student
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