Graduates on Steps

Celebrating a Century: Pennsylvania College of Optometry Turns 100

Salus University maintains a legacy that began 100 years ago in Philadelphia when our founding College, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), was initially established by Dr. Albert Fitch.

Considered a visionary by his peers and a revolutionary by others in the healthcare community, Dr. Fitch’s goal in establishing the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry (our original name) as a nonprofit educational institution in 1919 was to create a professional school of optometry comparable to those of medicine and dentistry. His desire was to “obtain a higher standard of proficiency and to enlighten the public mind on the subject and science of optometry and its relationship to the conservation of vision.” That desire to set and maintain a higher standard of education is evident today at Salus University, where the institution continues to break new ground with creative and innovative curricula for all of its degree programs. 

1920-3.jpgWe continue to push the envelope in health science education while adhering to our central principles built upon Dr. Fitch’s ideals: A commitment to interprofessional education and interdisciplinary training; a primary care philosophy and holistic approach that assess the whole patient for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation; and an exceptional clinical training sequence that begins in the very first semester of study are just a few of the University’s principles intertwined in the curriculum every day.

The name Salus University may still be young, however, the history and reputation of our founding institution - the Pennsylvania College of Optometry - is known and respected around the world. Changes in the nation’s healthcare delivery system are significantly altering every facet of our diversified medical and health science professions. Central to the Salus mission is keeping pace with the rapidly expanding healthcare issues, setting national trends and standards and being the leader in providing the nation’s top health science, education and rehabilitation professionals.

This past July we celebrated 10 years as a University. Since becoming a University in 2008, Salus has blossomed as a multifaceted health professions University through additional programs, various facility renovations, and increased partnerships. To celebrate, luncheons were held for faculty and staff; Young Alumni celebrated for a toast at a Philadelphia brewing company, and commemorative posters were signed.

The celebrations continue throughout 2019, as celebratory activities for PCO’s centennial anniversary will be in full swing. Launched in May, with a plethora of information to read and photography to view is the commemorative centennial website. With features on alumni, students, presidents, and notable historic moments that have occurred within the duration of the University, there’s plenty to learn about the 100 years of the institution’s existence. And what’s a celebration without a party? Be sure to save the date and RSVP for the Centennial Gala on April 27, 2019 at the Hilton Penns Landing, in Philadelphia. It will be a great celebration as we honor the first 100 years of our founding institution.

Centennial Website