October 9, 2005

Attendance: Dr. Robert M. Cole, III, Dr. Harry Kaplan, Dr. Wilmer A. Kron, Dr. Marie A. Marrone-Moriarty, Dr. Larry McClure, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg, Dr. Robert Spivack, Dr. and Mrs. Harold Wiener, Dr. Karen Wrigley, Ms. Lynne C. Corboy, and Ms. Ellen J. Mueller.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m.  The minutes, presented by Dr. Rosenberg, were approved with no corrections or additions.  The treasurer’s report was presented for Dr. John Ochsenreither.

Lynne Corboy reported that the Hafter Student Community Center is scheduled for completion in April 2006.  She also reported on the progress of the Expanding the Vision capital campaign to raise funds for the Center’s construction.  The total cost of the building is $6 million.  The campaign goal was originally set for $2 million, with $3 million coming from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and $1 million coming from the College.  The alumni and friends of the PCO were so generous that the College increased the campaign goal to $2.5 million.  Last June, the Kresge Foundation awarded PCO with a challenge grant.  PCO is the only optometric institution to receive this prestigious grant.  The Foundation will give the College $200,000 if the final $800,000 can be raised by April 1, 2006.

PCO will solicit funds from alumni, corporations, foundations, and friends to meet the Kresge Challenge.  The College is offering bricks to donors of $1,000 and above.

Dr. Larry McClure, Associate Dean of Student Financial Affairs, presented statistics from an alumni survey taken in December 2004.  The College surveyed alumni who graduated within the past 25 years.  He also compared some of PCO’s data with national information from the American Optometric Association.

There are 34,000 optometrists practicing in The United States.  About 87.5% of them are in private practice.  Currently, 55% of PCO alumni are male and 45% are female.  The statistics show that 98% of our alumni are working as optometrists.  About 18% of PCO alumni completed residencies.  Our alumni work an average of 40 hours per week.  Most PCO graduates make about $70,000 during their first year of practice.

Dr. Marie Marrone-Moriarty, Chair of the Nominating Committee, informed the board that the bylaws allow for 10 elected directors.  Only six director positions are currently filled.  The committee will try to fill some of those open positions before the next election cycle. 

Dr. Rosenberg gave the Reunion/Special Events Committee Report.  The 2006 Alumni Reunion Weekend is scheduled for May 6 & 7, 2006.  The Saturday evening dinner dance will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel Philadelphia again.  Classes ending in 1’s and 6’s are the ones celebrating their 5-year reunions in 2006.  The 50th Reunion Class is 1956 and the 25th is 1981.

Other ideas for Alumni Reunion Weekend include continuing education, trolley tours of Philadelphia, Sunday brunch, and happy hours for the 5th and 10th reunion classes.  If you have other suggestions, please let the Alumni Office know.

The College hosted a booth and alumni reception at OptoEast in Atlantic City.  The reception on Saturday evening, September 17th had over 200 attendees.

The next alumni event scheduled is a joint reception at the Academy Meeting in December in San Diego.

Dr. Karen Wrigley gave the Student Relations Committee Report.  The Alumni Association sponsored a reception during orientation on August 25, 2005 for members of the Class of 2008.  Ellen from the Alumni Office also spoke at Orientation to welcome students to the College and tell them a little about the Association and the benefits of being a PCO graduate.  Some alumni who are also members of the Philadelphia County and Bucks-Montgomery County Optometric Societies participated in an orientation picnic.

Ellen Mueller announced that the Alumni Association Auction raised $260 in its first year.  The items donated were a large bamboo plant, decorative box, hand-made scarf, and an overnight stay at the Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia.  Special thanks to our donors, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Lappen, Lisa Lonie of the President’s Office, and the Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia.  

Dr. John Ochsenreither asked ophthalmic representatives for donations for the auction, but was not successful.  He and the Alumni Office looked into local sports teams but discovered that they need to be solicited months in advance. We had offers from a few alumni at the auction to find more items for next year.  Dr. and Mrs. Lappen have agreed to chair the event for next year.  We need to choose a date for the 2006 Auction.  It could be held at Alumni Reunion Weekend, or during OptoEast again next September.  Ideally, to make the auction successful, we would need participation from everyone on the Alumni Association Board.  Please consider donating an item, donating money to purchase an item, attending the event and bidding, or some combination of all three.  Possible items include gift baskets, sports memorabilia, a week or weekend at your vacation homes, restaurant gift certificates, and art.

The Board discussed having the next auction at the 2006 Reunion or at the 2006 OptoEast Conference.  No formal vote was taken.  Lynne Corboy, Director of Development, pointed out that the OptoEast reception has about twice as many alumni in attendance as the reunion dinner dance.

The meeting adjourned at 11:46 a.m. with a motion by Dr. Spivack and seconded by Dr. Wrigley.

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