George S. Osborne College of Audiology
George S. Osborne (1940 – 2007)
George Shepard Osborne, PhD, D.D.S., was an optimist, a visionary, an experienced professional, and a dedicated educator. His contributions to the profession of Audiology were historic and many. He was one of the nation’s first private practitioners of Audiology, and remained involved in both clinical service and training throughout his career.
In 2000, Dr. Osborne and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry established the PCO School of Audiology, creating a curriculum that combined high academic standards and a strong biomedical component. As founding dean, Dr. Osborne first created AuDonline, a robust and comprehensive program designed specifically as a bridge for licensed, practicing audiologists. The PCO School of Audiology was one of only five schools nationwide approved for such a program and was the second largest program.
George Osborne believed that the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree should be the entry-level degree for the profession and he worked tirelessly to advance that cause. His bridge program for licensed, practicing audiologists concluded in 2010, with commencement bringing the total of its graduates to 2,119, which meant that more than 23% of all AuD’s at that time were Salus graduates. Additionally, the audiology profession’s goal of achieving a threshold of 50% AuD holders among its practitioners was met at this time.
In 2003, the first class of Audiology students entered the four-year residential program in Elkins Park. In May of 2007, George Osborne presided over the graduation of that first class. The residential graduates, along with the 133 (out of a total of 265) AuD bridge program graduates who had come for the commencement enjoyed a wonderful a day of celebration culminating in the commencement ceremony. As orchestrated by Dr. Osborne, more than 800 graduates and guests were treated to pre-commencement campus tours, activities for children, a buffet lunch and live music. The commencement of so many Doctor of Audiology graduates was an accomplishment reflective of George Osborne’s lifelong vision and professional tenacity. (PHOTO)
A few weeks after the celebration of the graduation of the first class of residential Audiology students, Dr. Osborne died unexpectedly at the age of 66 on Thursday, June 14, 2007. His death was mourned throughout the profession of Audiology, to which he had given so much of his time and efforts, and the loss to everyone at PCO who had worked with him was great.
Dr. Osborne was founder and past president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology; co-founder and past chair of the Audiology Foundation of America; co-founder and director of the American Academy of Audiology; and co-founder and director of the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education. He worked steadfastly to promote the profession and to ensure that audiologists would achieve recognition and parity with other healthcare professionals, such as dentists, optometrists, and podiatrists.
Shortly after Salus University was established on July 1, 2008, the announcement of the renaming of the PCO School of Audiology as the George S. Osborne College of Audiology was met with great acclaim both at the University and throughout the world of Audiology, where Dr. Osborne was a trailblazer in the establishment of the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree as the entry level degree for the profession.
Osborne Family; Tonya Delborne, Mrs. Osborne and Brian Osborne
George Osborne was an avid and accomplished pilot, who built an experimental seaplane, the Seawind, a project that took three years. His enthusiasm for flying and his delight in his plane were contagious - and well known to everyone who knew him. In the Seawind, he won the prestigious Lindy Award in Oshkosh in 2004 and, in 2006 he and his wife, Joan, won a cross-country race commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers.
Dr. Osborne was indefatigable in his efforts to ensure that audiologists would achieve the recognition among healthcare professionals that they deserved. The Audiology curricula at Salus University contain an intensive biomedical component, making them rigorous programs of the highest quality. With these programs, Dr. Osborne set the standard not just for the PCO School of Audiology, but for the profession.
At the May 2010 Osborne College of Audiology commencement, the final Doctor of Audiology degree in the AuD bridge program he had created was presented posthumously to Dr. George S. Osborne.