February. 2002

Attending: Dr. Christine T. Clancey, Dr. Mark E. Clement, Dr. Robert M. Cole, Dr. John J. Crozier, Dr. Albert Dichter, Dr. David A. Koch, Dr. Wilmer O. Kron, Dr. Thomas J. Landry, Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, Dr. Marie A. Marrone-Moriarty, Dr. John J. Ochsenreither, Dr. Alan B. Ostroff, Dr. Lawrence A. Ragone, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg, Ms. Felicia A. Whitney, Dr. Karen M. Wrigley, Ms. Lynne C. Corboy, and Ms. Ellen J. Mueller.

Call to order

The meeting was called to order at 10:23 a.m. by Dr. Marie Marrone.

Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the Alumni Association Board meeting held on Sunday, October 7, 2001 , were read and approved.

Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer’s report was accepted as presented.

Alumni Association President’s Report

Dr. Marrone presented the president’s report on behalf of Dr. Iacoponi. She reported that during the 2001 American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting, PCO hosted an alumni reception at the Elkins Park Campus. Hundreds of PCO alumni and friends, as well as members of the Academy Executive Committee, traveled to Elkins Park from Philadelphia on the evening of December 7. The reception was a great opportunity for alumni to explore the facility and visit with colleagues.

Dr. Marrone noted that the history display has been installed on the third floor of the South Building and asked that everyone take the time to visit it. The visual display, which was unveiled in December, documents our beginnings on Spring Garden Street with a faculty of six, through the move into Old Main in Oak Lane, the construction of the new buildings and The Eye Institute, and the development of the campus at Elkins Park.

PCO’s School of Audiology continues to grow. There are approximately 240 students enrolled in the AuDonline.org January 2002 session. Since the program’s inception in 2000, 25 audiologists have completed the program. Dr. Osborne, Dean of the School of Audiology , anticipates approximately 60 students will complete all requirements by May 2002.

The Alumni Office is planning to host receptions at upcoming optometric conferences. On Friday, February 22, the College will host an alumni reception at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in conjunction with SECO 2002. In June, PCO will provide a reception at the AOA meeting in New Orleans.

“I” Care Raffle tickets are now available. The committee of Harry Kaplan, Jerold Wassel, Robert Cole, and Marie Marrone-Moriarty plan to sell 400 tickets again this year. If you would like to purchase a ticket, please contact Harry or the Alumni Office. 

Alumni and parents pledged $112,000 in the annual Telefund which finished on January 31. As of February 8, $117,638 has been given to the PCO Foundation through the Annual Fund by alumni, parents, and friends of the College. Thank you to all those who supported the College so far this year. Dr. Marrone encouraged the Board members to make a gift before the Annual Alumni Association Meeting in May if they have not already done so. She concluded by introducing Dr. Thomas Lewis, President of PCO.

Report of the President of PCO

Dr. Lewis reported that PCO receptions during the Academy Meeting in Philadelphia in December 2001 were very successful. The College also held a continuing education program for past and current residents and for international graduates. All of the presenters were residents. The College intends to host such an event every few years. The Alumni Reception held on Friday, December 7th, was a success with hundreds of guests visiting the campus.

The College continues to work toward building a student/community center on the newly purchased property adjacent to the College. The zoning changes have been approved and the College is now trying to secure significant capital funding from the State. If the Governor releases these funds, the PCO Board of Trustees will decide if we should go forward with the project, including raising the required $3 million match to the State funding. The College is not likely to pursue this project without State funding.

There is no new information regarding the potential affiliation or merger with another university. The four goals that PCO has set forth are as follows: reducing class size, stabilizing tuition, providing research and expanding clinical opportunities. These goals would still have to be met. Dr. Lewis expects a report within the week from the consulting firm evaluating the potential for affiliation. Once the Ad Hoc Committee to Evaluate the Growth and Development of PCO receives the report, they will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

PCO is working with the POA on a bill to expand the use of therapeutics in the Commonwealth.

The applicant pool to the College is down another 18% from last year. The entire healthcare field is facing the same challenge, including all of the other optometry schools. The past five years has seen a 55% decline in applications at PCO.

To combat the decline in qualified applicants, Dr. Lewis stressed the need for practicing optometrists to encourage qualified high school and college students to enter the field. Dr. Marrone, Ms. Whitney, Dr. Clancey and Dr. Lewis each spoke of the role alumni could take as ambassadors for PCO. Dr. Rosenberg encouraged recruiting for PCO at community colleges. A program committee will be formed to create an ambassador program within the Alumni Association to address recruiting as well as other outreach on behalf of the College.

Awards Committee Report

Dr. Spivack reported that the Committee has chosen Beverly B. Miller, OD ’75, to receive the Alumna of the Year Award. She is a partner in a private practice with offices in Columbia and Berwyn Heights , Maryland . Dr. Miller received the 2000 Maryland Optometrist of the Year Award and was the AOA’s 2001 Optometrist of the Year in recognition of her outstanding service in our profession. Dr. Miller has been very active with her state optometric association and has been instrumental with public service activities such as participating in VISION USA and conducting vision screening at local shopping malls. In addition, Dr. Miller is currently chairing a task force to update the Maryland Optometric Statute.

Nominating Committee Report

Dr. Lawrence Ragone presented the Nominating Committee’s proposed slate of officers and directors. Three of the current directors will not be returning to the Alumni Board next year – Drs. Robert Spivack, David Koch and David Cruise. Dr. Ragone thanked them for their service to the Alumni Association. The proposed slate has six directors, which is less than the maximum of ten. The Nominating Committee may search for more candidates and others may be offered from the floor at the May Alumni Association meeting.

Reunion/Special Events Committee Report

Dr. Rosenberg reminded the group that the 2002 Reunion is scheduled to take place on May 4th and 5th at the Philadelphia Marriott West in West Conshohocken , Pa. The ballroom and meeting rooms at the hotel have just been renovated, so we will be able to enjoy their new facilities. The invitations are being designed and are scheduled to be mailed at the end of this month. In conjunction with the Reunion , the College will also be offering seven hours of continuing educations on Sunday of that weekend. Because of the addition of the continuing education, the annual Alumni Association Meeting has been moved to Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

The College hosted a reception on Friday, December 7, 2001 , during the American Academy of Optometry meeting in Philadelphia . It was well received, with hundreds of alumni and guests visiting the Elkins Park Campus. For those attending the meetings, transportation was provided to and from the Convention Center.

New Business

Ms. Lynne C. Corboy announced that the College will be hosting an online art auction and encouraged everyone in the Alumni Association to visit the auction. The event runs March 1-11, 2002 .

Good and Welfare

Dr. Koch commended Dr. John J. Crozier, Dr. William G. Walton and Ms. Lynne C. Corboy for their success with the History Display.

The meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m.