Alumni Association

Board Meeting Minutes | May 4, 2002

Attending: Dr. James M. Caldwell, Dr. Mark E. Clement, Dr. John J. Crozier, Dr. Albert Dichter, Dr. A.M. Iatesta, Mr. Michael Johnson, Dr. William F. Johnston, Jr, Dr. Harry Kaplan, Dr. Thomas J. Landry, Dr. Richard D. Lappen, Mrs. Stephanie J. Lappen, Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, Dr. Marie Marrone-Moriarty, Dr. John T. Ochsenreither, Dr. Alan B. Ostroff, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg, Dr. A. Gregory Toler, Ms. Felicia A. Whitney, Ms. Lynne Corboy and Ms. Ellen J. Mueller

I. Call to Order

Dr. Marie Marrone-Moriarty called the meeting to order at 1:43 p.m.

II. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the Alumni Association Board meeting held on Sunday, February 10, 2002, were approved as written.

III. Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer’s report was accepted as presented.

IV. President’s Report

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty reported that the Alumni Association is developing a program to prepare a group of well-informed PCO alumni to assist the College in attracting qualified young people to the field of optometry as well as to act as representatives of PCO in other forums.

The American Academy of Audiology met in Philadelphia during the third weekend in April. The College staffed a booth in the exhibit hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and hosted over one hundred people during a reception at the Elkins Park campus on Saturday. April 20.

As of April 23, 2002, 1,167 alumni, parents, and friends had contributed $137,837 to the Annual Fund. The goal is $175,000 by June 30.

Alumni receptions are being planned for the AOA Congress in New Orleans in June and at OptoEast in Atlantic City in October. The Alumni Association had considered holding its fall meeting during OptoEast, but the general consensus was to keep it on campus as usual.

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty invited PCO President Dr. Thomas Lewis to speak. Dr. Lewis mentioned that PCO has been developing educational programs around the world. He also stated that the new curriculum is the key to the future of the College.

Dr. Lewis described the decline in applicants that PCO and all the other optometry schools and healthcare professions have been facing.

Alumni can help abate the profession-wide problem by getting involved with an ambassadors program being initiated at PCO. The program will have several areas, including alumni serving as ambassadors to colleges and universities local to them, serving as ambassadors to local and state optometric associations, and serving as mentors to accepted students.

Studies have shown that practicing optometrists are a major source of applicants applying to optometry school. In promoting the profession, the College is not seeking to increase the number of optometry students, but, rather, to increase the number of highly qualified applicants.

Dr. Lewis commented on several other enrollment trends. The current student body has more women than men (55% to 45%) and much greater ethnic and racial diversity than twenty or thirty years ago.

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty thanked Dr. Lewis and introduced Dr. James Caldwell, the Director of Admissions at PCO. 

Presentation on Admissions Dr. Caldwell gave an overview on the decrease in applications to PCO, to optometry, and to healthcare professional schools across the country. He reviewed the reasons why applications are down, and what alumni can do to combat the trend. He emphasized that PCO does not wish to increase its class size; rather, that the College is concerned that the trend will mean insufficient qualified applicants. At PCO, the response to fewer qualified applicants will not be to lower admission standards but to decrease class size below the optimum number.

Dr. Caldwell led a discussion regarding the establishment of an ambassadors program through the Alumni Association in cooperation with ASCO’s “Each One Reach One” campaign. PCO Alumni would get involved by speaking at high schools and colleges about the field, by serving as mentors to admitted students, and by serving as a liaison between PCO and state and local optometric associations. The discussion continued after the Annual Meeting in a planning session for the ambassadors program.

VI. Committee Reports

Dr. John Ochsenreither reported that the Finance Committee has approved the donation of $30,000 to the cost of the history display. The transfer is being processed and should appear in the next treasurer’s report.

Dr. Landry presented the Nominating Committee report on behalf of Dr. Ragone. The slate for the election of officers has been prepared and will be presented under Election of Officers.

Dr. Rosenberg reported on the Reunion/Special Events Committee by stating that the primary activity of this committee over the past year has been to help with the planning of the Alumni Reunion. Next year’s reunion is scheduled to be held again at the Philadelphia Marriott West on the weekend of Saturday, May 3. The committee will be meeting over the summer to work on other details. Over the past year, alumni receptions were held at the AAO meeting in December and at SECO in February. PCO will also be hosting an alumni reception at the AOA meeting in New Orleans in June. The College is planning to host an alumni reception in Atlantic City in conjunction with OptoEast on Saturday, October 12, 2002.

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty reported that the Student Relations Committee invited several students to attend the dinner dance tonight as the guests of the Alumni Association. The next activity is the student reception before Commencement on the evening of Friday, May 17, 2002, at Presidential Caterers in Norristown, Pa. The Alumni Association traditionally hands out pens and brochures about the Association to welcome them as the newest alumni. The annual “get acquainted” reception will be held during orientation in August to welcome the incoming class. We partially fund this event and all the board members are encouraged to attend.

VII. Old Business

The Slate of Officers as presented by the Nominating Committee was approved and all nominees were elected with no additions.

Ms. Lynne Corboy reported that the online Art Auction was held with four people purchasing art. There was no cost to the College to offer the auction and technical difficulty may have hampered more people from bidding on art.

Dr. Harry Kaplan reported that the “I”Care Raffle will be drawn at the Reunion Dinner Dance. At the time of the meeting, 384 tickets had been sold and he encouraged everyone in attendance to purchase a ticket if they had not already done so.

VIII. New Business

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty announced that a planning session will be held following the Annual Meeting to discuss the implementation of the ambassadors program and invited everyone to attend.

IX. Good and Welfare

Dr. Marrone Moriarty remarked that the Alumni Association is grateful to Drs. Spivack, Cruse, Koch, and Iacoponi for their service to the Association and will be acknowledging them with certificates from the Association.

X. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert A. Rosenberg, OD, ’61
Secretary