Alumni Association

Board Meeting Minutes | January 13, 2008

Attendance:

Dr. Debra Busacco, Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, Dr. John. T. Ochsenreither, Dr. Lawrence A. Ragone, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg, Dr. Kevin Ryan, Dr. Kenneth W. Savitski, Dr. Karen M. Wrigley, Ms. Lynne C. Corboy, Ms. Heather S. Giampapa, Mr. Robert Wang.

Dr. Wrigley called the meeting to order at 10:06. As there were no proposed changes to the minutes, Dr. Rosenberg motioned to approve the minutes, Dr. Ochsenreither seconded, the minutes were unanimously approved.

Dr. Wrigley introduced the meeting’s special speaker, Debra Busacco, Director of PCO’s School of Audiology Residential Program. Dr. Busacco explained that she joined PCO in her current capacity in May 2007, two weeks prior to the death of the Dean of the School of Audiology, George Osborne. She has been on the faculty of the online Audiology program since 2005. Dr. Busacco took the meeting attendees on a tour of three on-campus Audiology research and clinical training laboratories as well as the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI). PEI provides many of the same services to the community that The Eye Institute does, but in Audiology instead of Optometry. PEI has recently teamed with the Veteran’s Administration of Philadelphia, and the facility will see approximately 1,700 veterans over the next two years. PEI enhances PCO’s Audiology student’s experiences during their time at the school.

Dr. Wrigley gave the Treasurer’s Report on behalf of Dr. Robert N. Spivack. (Please see attached document.)

Dr. Wrigley introduced Dr. Lewis, who reported on the progress of The Eye Institute renovation. The architectural design is finished and a contractor is working on a cost estimate. When complete, a fundraising plan will be devised and the Office of Institutional Advancement will begin to raise money for the project. The College has already received several gifts that can be earmarked for the renovation. The College hopes to break ground in the spring of 2008, and construction time is estimated to be 12 to 18 months.

Dr. Lewis then reported on PCO’s university status. The proposed Salus University will be comprised of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, the College of Audiology, the College of Education and Rehabilitation, and the College of Health Sciences. The Physician Assistant Program is part of the College of Health Sciences, and additional programs are being considering for this school of the University. The thirty-day comment period regarding PCO’s proposed name and status change will conclude on January 21.  There may be a challenge from ophthalmology, but approved is ultimately expected.

The College will be busy during calendar year 2008, as this is the year the institution goes through its periodic reaccredidation process. PCO is preparing for visits from both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredits the entire institution, and the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, which accredits the Optometry Program.

Dr. Wrigley introduced Robert Wang, class of 2010, President of Student Optometric Service to Humanity (SOSH). Mr. Wang summarized SOSH’s history at PCO, beginning with its establishment by Algernon Phillips, OD, ’69 for missions to Haiti, followed by many years of service in various countries in Latin America and around the world. For the past several years, the SOSH mission has been to Guatemala; in 2007, twenty-eight students traveled to Guatemala and saw over 2,000 patients. The location and timing of the 2008 trip has yet to be finalized.

This year SOSH would like to again bring vision care to a developing country. The organization would like to enhance their visit by collecting more data and working with other organizations active in the area they would like to serve, such as the World Health Organization and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity Pennsylvania. SOSH would also like to include one or more first year students on their trip, with the thought that these students would then be experienced at setting up the site when their class makes the trip in 2009. The organization is also considering how they could integrate Audiology and Physician Assistant students into the trip. 

SOSH is currently engaged in fund raising for this trip through bake sales, alumni solicitation, social events, and a proposed 5K run. The approximate cost for the trip is  $50,000, an amount at which students would likely still be required to pay for a portion of their trip. Mr. Wang requested that the Alumni Association consider a contribution of $2,000 toward SOSH’s fundraising efforts.

Dr. Wrigley thanked Mr. Wang for his presentation and reported that because a quorum was not achieved by meeting attendance, a mailed nomination will be sent to Alumni Association trustees on the matter of the donation. It was suggested that a fundraising effort for SOSH be held at the Reunion, however, there are many student organizations on campus and too much preferential treatment can’t be shown toward one over the others.

Heather Giampapa gave the Awards Committee report on behalf of Dr. Richard Lappen. An email was sent to alumni in December requesting nominations for the four Alumni Awards (to be bestowed at the Reunion in May.) A number of nominations were received and the Awards Committee is currently making their decisions regarding the recipients. Selections will be made and announced within the next month and all attempts will be made to have the recipients at the Reunion celebration.

Dr. Wrigley gave the Nominating Committee report on behalf of Dr. Robert Cole. Four current board members will complete their terms in May: Mark Clement, OD, William Johnston, Jr, OD, Alan Ostroff, OD, and Felicia Whitney, MS We would like to thank these trustees for their time and service to the College. With these four members rolling off, there are up to four positions to be filled (the bylaws state there is to be a maximum of ten officers.)

A call for nominations went out to alumni, and one nomination was received, David Friess, OD, ‘02. Three other names have been put forth for nomination by the Nominating Committee: Dennis Lyons, OD, ’73, Carlo Pelino, OD, ’94, and Lauren Scharf-Snyder, OD, '79. (Information on the nominees can be enclosed.) Drs. Friess and Lyons have both expressed interest in serving on the Board, Heather is waiting for responses from Drs. Pelino and Scharf-Snyder.

Once selected, the proposed slate of officers will be voted on by the Board and alumni in attendance at the Annual Meeting in May.

Dr. Ken Savitski gave the Reunion/Special Events Committee report. The 2008 Alumni Reunion is scheduled for May 3, 2008.  Classes ending in 3’s and 8’s will be celebrating their 5-years reunions in 2008. The 50th Reunion Class is 1958 and the 25th is 1983. We are planning to repeat the successful events of last year, with tours of the Elkins Parks Campus and lunch in the cafeteria in the afternoon. The evening celebration will be held in the Hafter Student Community Center, we will again have a buffet dinner, open bars and casino style games for entertainment. This year’s theme will be “Derby Days” – to incorporate the running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3rd. We are planning to add a horse-race game to the other casino games, to have mint juleps and Derby-themed menu items, and we are currently looking into timing and technology so we might be able to show the race in the gym.

If any board member has an idea for a door prize they might be able to secure for the evening, Heather would be happy to write any letters or coordinate any details to make that happen. The recipients of the Alumni Awards and winners of the 2008 Raffle will be announced at the evening party, as well.

The Alumni Office is working on the formal invitation and it will be mailed the week of March 3rd to all alumni in classes ending in 3 and 8, with a postcard mailed to other alumni. Hotel rooms have been reserved at the Willow Grove Marriott Courtyard for Friday and for Saturday nights. All of the Reunion information is being posted on the website.

We will have optometry alumni receptions at SECO in Atlanta on Friday, February 29, 2008 and at the American Optometric Association’s meeting in Seattle in June 2008. We will have an audiology alumni reception at the American Academy of Audiology meeting in Charlotte, NC in April 2008.

With no new business to discuss, Dr. Savitski motioned to adjourn and the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.