Texas Tech University

About Jerry S. Rawls

Jerry S. Rawls

In 1988, Jerry S. Rawls and a partner formed Finisar Corporation to conduct fiber optic research. Four years later, they revolutionized the industry standards for gigabit fiber optic communication between computing devices.

Under Rawls' direction as President and CEO, Finisar Corporation, based in Sunnyvale, California, continues to be a technology leader for fiber optic subsystems and network performance test systems. In 2000, Forbes listed Finisar as one of the top 500 companies and Business Week as one of the 100 Hot Growth Companies.

A Houston native, Rawls earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1967. He was selected to two engineering honoraries and played freshman basketball, was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and Saddle Tramps, served as a member of the Student Senate and Interfraternity Council, and was elected Business Manager of the Texas Tech Student Body. Rawls then earned a M.S. in Industrial Administration from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University. From 1968 to 1989, he worked for Raychem Corporation, first in sales and marketing and then in national-level management positions.

Rawls is now turning to philanthropic interests, causing a revolution at his alma mater through a record cash gift of $25 million to the College of Business Administration announced December 16, 2000. Through his generous gift, the College is able to facilitate the education of a new generation of leaders.