The origin of the Optical Sciences Center (OSC) at the University of Arizona was closely tied to the need to expand the national capability for manufacturing large optics. This connection allowed OSC to grow quickly to become a truly unique place where new technologies are born and applied and where students have opportunities to apply academic lessons to real-world projects. In the decades that follow, OSC has grown to become a leader in many other optical disciplines, including photonics, imaging, optical engineering, and optical physics. But the core capability of optical fabrication and testing has remained as a unique University of Arizona asset. The last decade has seen explosive growth in development and implementation of new technologies for manufacturing and measuring large optics at the College of Optical Sciences. The classic polishing techniques have given way to advanced computer controlled machines and highly engineered laps. New measuring methods have enabled accurate metrology of steeply aspheric surfaces, concave and convex, symmetric and freeform. This paper discusses the history of optical fabrication and testing at University of Arizona and reviews some recent major projects and the technical developments that have enabled their success.