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OSA Foundation Launches Paul A. Bonenfant Memorial Scholarship Campaign


11 January 2012

Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Foundation Launches Paul A. Bonenfant Memorial Scholarship Campaign

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11– The OSA Foundation (OSAF) has announced the launch of a fundraising campaign to establish the Paul Anthony Bonenfant Memorial Scholarship. The Foundation aims to successfully achieve its fundraising goal by this spring so that the scholarship program can be formally in place and ready for student applicants by year-end.

The scholarship will honor the late optical communications expert and analyst Paul Bonenfant and his conviction that international experiences enhance an individual’s interpersonal and business endeavors. This need-based scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students majoring in engineering or the physical sciences to provide them with international experience as they prepare for a professional life that will promote global engagement and collaboration.

"The unexpected and all-too-early loss of Paul was devastating to our family and to his colleagues and friends in the optical communications community," said Bonenfant’s wife Maria. "I am pleased to partner with the OSA Foundation to establish this scholarship campaign in Paul’s memory. His work was greatly enhanced by international collaborations and experiences so it is fitting that this scholarship seeks to provide that same important foundation to students. I encourage anyone who knew Paul and those who value international student programs to consider a contribution to this cause."

Bonenfant, who passed away at the age of 42 in 2010, was a senior research analyst for Morgan Keegan, specializing in the technology sector, including communications equipment and components. Prior to his move to Wall Street, Bonenfant spent more than 15 years in the telecommunications industry. He led requirements and standards development for optical transport systems at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore, now Telcordia Technologies) and then moved to Lucent’s Optical Networking Group, where he served as a business development manager for mergers and acquisitions. He was both a founding member and chief architect at Photuris, Inc., and then served as principal network architect at Mahi Networks, where he specialized in SONET/SDH, DWDM, ROADM, and optical networking transport architecture, product evolution planning, network survivability, and associated global standards development.

He co-invented "Digital Wrapper" technology, now a part of ITU-T Recommendation G.709, served as an invited speaker and short-course instructor at international conferences, was widely published in trade and peer-reviewed journals and has several patents. He served as editor for ITU Recommendation G.841, Framework for Optical Networking, and was awarded the American National Standards Institute’s T1X1 Significant Contributor Award in 1999 for his contributions to the development of SONET, Automatic Protection Switching, and Optical Networking standards. In 2010, he was honored in the Wall Street Journal Best on the Street Analyst Survey with a Number 3 ranking among telecommunications equipment analysts for stock selection and performance. Bonenfant was a Senior Member of IEEE and a dedicated member of the OFC/NFOEC Technical Program Committee and a speaker/panel member at OFC/NFOEC for many years. Most recently he served on the following Subcommittees: FTTx Technologies, Deployment and Applications; Network Technologies and Applications; Market Watch; and Service Provider Summit.

For more information about the Bonenfant Scholarship and to make a secure online donation, visit Attendees registering for OFC/NFOEC 2012 also have the option of including a donation to the scholarship during the online registration process at

About the OSA Foundation

The OSA Foundation, created in 2002, is dedicated to supporting programs that advance youth science education, provide optics education and resources to underserved populations, and provide career and professional development resources. Contributions to the Foundation, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are deductible as provided by law. All donors receive special recognition and acknowledgements, unless they request to be anonymous. Donations to the OSA Foundation are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Optical Society. For more information, please contact the OSA development staff via telephone: (202) 416-1985; or e-mail:


For more than 35 years, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/ National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) has been the premier destination for converging breakthrough research and innovation in telecommunications, optical networking and, recently, datacom and computing. Uniting service providers, systems companies, enterprise customers, IT businesses and component manufacturers, along with researchers, engineers and development teams, OFC/NFOEC combines dynamic business programming, an exposition of more than 500 companies and cutting-edge peer-reviewed research into one event that showcases the trends and pulse of the entire optical communications industry.

OFC/NFOEC is managed by the Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the IEEE Photonics Society. Acting as a non-financial technical co-sponsor is Telcordia Technologies, Inc. Visit

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