Alumnus Honors Professor’s Influence Decades Later

By Jill Blevins  |  August 31, 2014

Until recently, Dr. Solomon Luo MS’78 hadn’t seen Professor John Jagger since his graduation from the University more than three decades ago. Yet the influence of this instructor has long made an impression upon Luo’s success. In recognition of that impact, Luo and his wife, Wendy, created the John Jagger Scholarship for Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

“Dr. Jagger was an influential mentor during my time at UT Dallas, and he went out of his way to assist me with my acceptance into medical school,” Luo said. “If not for Dr. Jagger, I probably wouldn’t have gone down that path.”

Jagger was a professor of general studies and biology first at the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest starting in 1965, through the transition to UT Dallas and until his retirement from the University in 1989. During a recent visit to the Dallas area, Luo and his wife were able to reconnect with the professor and visit about the scholarship bearing the beloved educator’s name.

In 1986, Luo founded a private practice in eastern Pennsylvania. Known today as the Progressive Vision Institute, his practice boasts 11 locations and 15 physicians, including Luo’s three children. Nationally recognized for his expertise in cataract and refractive surgery, Luo was one of the first physicians in his area to perform surgery to correct nearsightedness in 1989.

After 25 years of performing more than 30,000 ophthalmic surgical procedures, Luo still feels pulled to honor a man who first pushed him toward the medical arena.

“It was such a joy to visit Dr. Jagger and share with him how profoundly he impacted my life,” Luo said. “My time at the University, in combination with Dr. Jagger’s guidance, set the course for my life.”

Prior to Luo’s arrival at UT Dallas in 1975, he had already earned a bachelor’s degree from Fu Jen Catholic University in his native Taiwan. After earning a master’s degree in environmental studies from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, he completed a medical degree at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and his residency at Temple University Hospital. Since 2005, Luo has also served on the board of trustees at Temple.

“Perhaps I too can leave a lasting impact for a UT Dallas student, providing opportunities for a future just barely dreamed of,” Luo said.

Relevance: Alumni, Giving