Alumni Association

Board Meeting Minutes | May 3, 2008

Attendance: Dr. Roy F. Anderson, Dr. Mark E. Clement, Dr. Edward H. Fitch, Dr. Irwin J. Goldman, Dr. Harry Kaplan, Dr. Lynn W. Kurata, Dr. Benjamin C. Lane, Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, Dr. Dennis H. Lyons, Dr. John. T. Oschsenreither, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg, Dr. Kenneth W. Savitski, Dr. Robert N. Spivack, Dr. Harold Wiener, Mrs. Virginia J. Wiener, Dr. Karen M. Wrigley, Ms. Lynne C. Corboy, Ms. Heather S. Giampapa.

Dr. Wrigley called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m. As there were no proposed changes to the minutes, Dr. Kaplan motioned to approve the minutes, Dr. Spivack seconded, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

Dr. Spivack gave the Treasurer’s Report. (Please see attached document.) Due to losses in the stock market, as of May 3, the Association reported a loss in income. Each year the Alumni Association awards a $1,500 award to the graduate with the highest grade point average. This year, two students achieved that honor, and it was decided that each student should receive $1,000, for a total of $2,000. At the January Alumni Association meeting, a student representative from SOSH attended and requested a $2,000 donation from the Association for their upcoming humanitarian trip. Discussion took place on an amount to donate, keeping in mind that there are several such organizations on campus, although no other group has requested a donation. The Association voted to donate $1,000 to SOSH, and to consider future charitable requests on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. Wrigley gave the President’s Report. During the 2007-08 school year, alumni receptions were held at SECO in February, at the American Academy of Audiologists Annual Meeting in April, and at the American Optometric Association’s Annual Meeting in June. The Audiology department ran the reception at the American Academy of Audiologists, and over 300 alumni attended. This is a chance for PCO’s Audiology alumni alums to gather, as many of them studied through the online program and without the on-campus experience. In addition, a small alumni get-together was held in Harrisburg in March in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Optometric Association Board Meeting. Invitations were sent to all alumni under the age of 50 in the Harrisburg area. Eleven alumni attended, along with Jim Caldwell, class of 1989 and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of Admissions and Heather S. Giampapa of the Alumni Office. The Alumni Office is looking into doing more small regional receptions in conjunction with POA continuing education events, as well as in towns and cities where high volumes of PCO alumni live.

Dr. Wrigley reported that she is an alumni representative for the Dean of Optometry search committee. Prospective Deans have been visiting PCO and the Eye Institute for discussions and presentations with staff and alumni.

Dr. Lewis thanked Dr. Wrigley for her service as Alumni Association President, declaring Dr. Wrigley to be an involved and willing leader. Certificates of appreciation were given to Dr. Wrigley and Dr. Clement, whose term as director concluded with the Annual Meeting.

Dr. Lewis reported on University status. Approval has been granted from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. A press conference will take place on May 19th to announce the new name and alumni have been invited to watch the presentation online. The Pennsylvania College of Optometry will begin to operate as Salus University on July 1, 2008. The University will be comprised of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, the largest program and the flagship of the University; The George S. Obsorne College of Audiology; the College of Education and Rehabilitation, which will house the Graduate Studies Programs; and the College of Health Sciences, which will house the Physician Assistant Program. Dr. Lewis will remain President of the University. Dr. Tony Di Stephano will serve as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and a search is currently underway for his replacement as Dean of Optometry.

Plans for the renovation of the Eye Institute are continuing. Architects are completing drawings and tests are being done on the ground and soil. The Board of Trustees will consider the proposal and decide whether to move ahead.

In the fall, PCO will once again work on our accreditation process. A self-study will be completed on August 1, a site visit by Accreditation Council on Optometric Education will happen in October.

Lynne Corboy gave the Bylaws Committee report on behalf of Dr. Tom Landry. Substantial changes will need to be made with the Alumni Association’s bylaws due to University transition. The bylaws will be reviewed by the Bylaws Committee and Alumni Association Board and approved at the next Annual Meeting.

Dr. Wrigley gave the Awards Committee report on behalf of Dr. Richard Lappen. The Awards Committee has chosen Dennis H. Lyons, PCO class of 1973 to be this year’s Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year.  Dr. Lyons, who is on today’s Alumni Association Board slate to be voted on later in this meeting, will receive his award during tonight’s evening celebration. A private practice optometrist for thirty-five years, Dr. Lyons has served as President and Secretary/Treasurer of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry, as a Director of the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians and Vice-President of the Monmouth/Ocean County Optometric Association. Dr. Lyons has been instrumental in establishing scholarships for PCO students, both through the New Jersey AAO and the creation of the Class of 1973 Memorial Scholarship, the first fully endowed class scholarship at PCO.

In addition, the Awards Committee has chosen Yigal Gutman to receive the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Gutman’s leadership at the Israel College of Optometry has brought a series of degree and non-degree programs being brought to Israel by PCO. His efforts have been instrumental in having the PCO programs formally recognized by the Israel Commission of Higher Education Accreditation, a development that has been strategically valuable in PCO delivering programs in other countries. Mr. Gutman has been on the World Council of Optometry Board as Treasurer and has worked with the PCO WCO Secretariat for ten years with distinction.

Dr. Ken Savitski gave the Reunion/Special Events Committee report. Classes ending in 3’s and 8’s are celebrating their 5-years reunions at today’s Reunion events. Today there are tours of the Elkins Parks Campus and lunch in the cafeteria. The evening celebration will be held in the Hafter Student Community Center, with a buffet dinner, open bar and a DJ and casino style games for entertainment. This year’s theme is “Derby Days” -- we will offer mint juleps and Derby-themed menu items and will show the race in the Hafter Center.

Dr. Wrigley gave the Nominating Committee report on behalf of Dr. Robert Cole. Four board members will complete their terms with the conclusion of today’s Annual Meeting: Mark Clement, OD, William Johnston, Jr, OD, Alan Ostroff, OD, and Felicia Whitney, MS Dr. Wrigley thanked these directors for their time and service to the College. Two new directors were on the slate to join the Alumni Association: David Friess, OD, ’02 and Dennis H. Lyons, OD, ’73. Drs. Friess and Lyons were unanimously elected to the Board. Dr. Wrigley welcomed the new board members.

There was a discussion about increasing attendance at the Alumni Reunion. Suggestions included adding a continuing education course to the weekend, sending a pre-reunion survey to gage what activities attendees would be interested in, creating class newsletters to keep classmates connected and class blogs.

With no new business to discuss, Dr. Savitski motioned to adjourn and the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.