Alumni Association

Board Meeting Minutes | November 2, 2003

Attending:

Dr. Christine T. Clancey, Dr. Mark E. Clement, Dr. John J. Crozier, Dr. Albert Dichter, Dr. William F. Johnston, Jr, Dr. Shahane T. Kirman, Dr. Wilmer O. Kron, Dr. Richard D. Lappen, Mrs. Stephanie Lappen, Dr. Thomas J. Landry, Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, Dr. Marie A. Marrone-Moriarty, Ms. Trisha Moore, Dr. John T. Ochsenreither, Dr. Alan B. Ostroff, Dr. Lawrence A. Ragone, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg, Mrs. Christina Tu, Ms. Felicia Whitney, Ms. Lynne C. Corboy, and Ms. Ellen J. Mueller.

Call to Order

Dr. Marie Marrone-Moriarty called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the May 2003 meeting were approved as presented.  Dr. Kron made a motion for their approval and Dr. Ochsenreither seconded.

Treasurer’s Report

Dr. John T. Ochsenreither presented the report.  The report was approved as presented with a motion by Dr. Kron and seconded by Dr. Clement.

Alumni Association President’s Report

 Dr. Marrone-Moriarty presented the Alumni Association President’s report.  She reminded the Board that alumni will be able to utilize the Student Community Center for CE and for reunion events.

The first class of four residential audiology students started at PCO in August.  There are currently 187 audiology alumni through the AuD online program.  There are approximately 451 students in the program preparing for their AuD degree. 

The second annual OptoEast Conference was held in Atlantic City on September 4-7, 2003.  PCO was represented by a booth and a combined Gala/Alumni reception, attended by around 200 alumni and friends. 

The Annual Fund has once again started to raise unrestricted funds for the current operation of the College.  The annual telefund program started on September 16th.  As of October 31, alumni and friends have pledged or given $85,015 to PCO’s annual fund.  This is down about 75 donors and $8,000 from last fall.

Maps were distributed showing the geographical  distribution of PCO alumni.  The college has 331 international alumni and 6,163 alumni in the U.S. representing 49 states.  Mississippi is the only state without PCO alumni. 

In the spring of 2002, the College established a formal Enrollment Management Committee.  Its members have identified and carried out a number of activities designed to meet the following objectives: 

  • Increase the number and diversity of the applicant pool
  • Increase and improve the College’s share of and yield within the applicant pool
  • Matriculate a full class of qualified students
  • Improve the retention of matriculated students
  • Increase students’ and graduates’ level of “satisfaction” with their educational experiences, the College and its support services.

To review just a few of their activities, many adjustments and enhanced practices have been integrated into the admissions process.  Interviews are scheduled sooner and the interview day has been rearranged to allow the applicants more exposure to current students.  Because prospective students now get much of their information about professional school from the Internet, the PCO web site has been significantly redesigned and housing information added.  Financial aid has been more effectively targeted and awarded earlier. 

The Alumni Ambassadors have called students who have been accepted to the College to welcome them to the PCO community.  The Office of Institutional Advancement developed a brochure, Choose Optometry, Choose PCO, targeted toward prospective students.  The College sent a copy to alumni and asked if they would display them in their offices.  Over 200 alumni responded. 

Applications for the fall of 2004 are currently up 10% over last year and higher than the past three years. 

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty then introduced Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, President of PCO. 

Dr. Lewis asked first for a moment of silence for alumni who have passed away recently, including Bill Walton, Robert Russakoff, and Traci Godwin. 

The college has graduated several hundred audiology alumni and now have approximately 500 practitioners enrolled in the online program.  Because of this program, PCO has developed the best online technology among optometry schools, if not among the healthcare professional schools.  The College plans to utilize the technology for audiology continuing education, and, perhaps, optometry CE as well. 

PCO is building an audiology clinic in the North Building of the Elkins Park campus.  Besides a hearing and balance center, other specialties that could rent space and office time are laser dermatology and secondary ophthalmological services.  The goal is to open the center on January 1, 2004. 

Dr. Lewis then thanked Dr. Shahane Kirman, who was in attendance, and his son, Gary, for their work in obtaining the $3 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the new Student Community Center. 

In January 2003, the College learned that it would be receiving the $3 million state grant.  Over the past several months, the three-year-old plans have been redesigned to address the current needs of students and the PCO community. 

The College is currently working with the Township to have its Land Use Plan approved.  The adjacent condominium association must also approve the necessary changes to the deed covenant on the property.

Committee Reports:

Awards Committee

Dr. Landry reported that the Awards Committee is working on getting more nominations for the Alumnus of the Year Award.  It is also working on bringing on more committee members.  He anticipates that the Committee will have selected a nominee by the next board meeting.

Reunion Committee

Dr. Rosenberg reported that after the 2003 Reunion, the Alumni Office sent surveys to all members of the reunion classes.  171 Alumni (14%) responded to the survey.  The results that came back were interesting but mixed.  A copy of the results was handed out at this meeting with the agenda.  He was not satisfied with a 14% response rate to the survey. 

The Reunion Committee held a meeting on Tuesday, October 21, 2003.  Marie Marrone-Moriarty, Richard Lappen, Dr. Robert Rosenberg and Ellen Mueller were in attendance to discuss the 2004 Reunion.  The Reunion will be the same weekend as Commencement.  Dr. Rosenberg shared the tentative schedule for the weekend.

The group discussed a new format for the Sunday morning breakfast.  Rather than have a full breakfast buffet and the Alumni Association Annual Meeting, they decided to have a continental breakfast reception and move the meeting to Saturday afternoon.  They also considered inviting the graduating fourth-year students and their families.  Issues to consider include whether this would interfere with practice for commencement and if students are too busy with other graduation day responsibilities to attend an alumni event.  The Reunion Committee will work with the Alumni Office to explore these options.

Student Relations Committee

The Student Relations Committee report was read by Ellen Mueller for Dr. Robert Cole.  The Alumni Association sponsored a reception during orientation on August 25, 2003, for members of the Class of 2007.  One member of the Alumni Association and his spouse attended.

New Business

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty asked for discussion regarding a fundraising event for the Alumni Association to generate income.  If the Association intends to continue to support student activities and to make a donation in support of the Student Community Center, it should find an additional revenue source. 

Ms. Whitney complimented the College on its work with Philadelphia school children through the Prevention of Blindness Grant.  By having PCO students screen the school children, many severe visual problems were diagnosed.  

Dr. Lewis informed the board that the College is working with the School District of Philadelphia to provide vision care services to 200,000 public school children.  This summer, PCO students and faculty examined all 12,000 summer school students.  Dr. Lewis also mentioned that PCO is now running the Eagle Eye Mobile through St. Christopher’s Hospital.

Adjournment

Dr. Marrone-Moriarty adjourned the meeting at 11:32 a.m. with a motion by Dr. Kron.

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