President’s Medal Recipients
Many people have been part of the proud history of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) and Salus University.  Alumni, faculty, and friends of the College helped establish PCO as a pioneer and leader in the field of optometric education and the profession of optometry. The following people - highlighted on Medal Mondays - were honored on May 20, 1995 at the 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration for their outstanding contributions to the College and the field of optometry and vision care.

At the Centennial Gala Celebration on April 27, 2019, additional alumni, faculty, and friends will be honored. 

H. Ward Ewalt, Jr., OD (Ohio State University, ’29)
DSc (Hon.) ’69, FAAO (1907-1995)


Medal Monday: H. Ward EwaltDr. H. Ward Ewalt graduated from Ohio State University (OSU) with a bachelor’s degree in applied optics in 1929. Upon graduating he opened up a private practice in Pittsburgh, Pa and conducted research in the areas of vision training, low vision and contact lens.

Throughout his optometric career, Dr. Ewalt remained prominent in state and national organization activities. He served for many years on the American Optometric Association’s Council on Optometric Education, and started the AOA Public Health Bureau for AOA in Pittsburgh in 1944. He was elected as the AOA’s 41st president at the 65th AOA Congress held in 1962. Dr. Ewalt also served as the Pennsylvania Optometric Association’s president from 1939-1942.

Dr. Ewalt was the first Optometric Consultant to the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army. He was also a member of the National Advisory Council on Medical, Dental, Optometric, and Podiatric Education of the U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He served as vice-chairman of the Tri-State Conference on Vision and Reading for three decades and was the founder of the Optometric Extension Program's Middle Atlantic Congress. Dr. Ewalt was also the editor and author of numerous professional papers, monographs, and texts, and served as Chairman of the Wildermuth Foundation.

In 1969, he received an Honorary Degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and in 1990 he received the OSU Alumni Association’s Citizen Award.

Dr. Ewalt continued to practice optometry in Pittsburgh until 1994. He passed away on May 8, 1995.