President’s Medal Recipients

Robert-A-Kraskin.jpgMany 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.

Robert A. Kraskin, OD ’50, FAAO, FCOVD
Dr. Robert A. Kraskin was an internationally renowned author, lecturer, and practitioner in the areas of vision development, prevention of visual problems and visual training. He graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in 1950 and his career blossomed soon after. Dr. Kraskin opened a private practice in Washington D.C., where he worked for many years emphasizing behavioral optometry, visual performance, and visual learning.

During his time at PCO, Dr. Kraskin was a member of Gamma Omega Phi (GOP). The GOP was a fraternity established in 1926 and formed among the ideals of professionalism, research, and comradery. As a member of GOP, he held the position of scribe. Dr. Kraskin was also a member of the school’s honor society.

In his senior yearbook, Dr. Kraskin was described by his classmates as “a southern gentleman, popular, indefatigable, has an illustrious optometric family background.” He served as the yearbook sports editor, business manager, and was part of the PUPIL publication and IRIS yearbook staff.

He also gave back to PCO, serving as president of the Alumni Association in 1978 and 1979 and as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1983. Dr. Kraskin was a former president of the Optometric Society of the District of Columbia and author of books on vision, including "You Can Improve Your Vision," published in 1968. Along with authoring various books, Dr. Kraskin also served as optometric editor of the Journal of Learning Disabilities and a consultant to Project Head Start for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In fact, Volunteers for Vision, an organization founded by Luci Baines Johnson - daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, developed from Dr. Kraskin’s work with the Head Start program. Ms. Johnson was a patient at Dr. Kraskin’s office during the time of her father’s presidency.

Dr. Kraskin was honored with the G.M. Getman and the A.M. Skeffington Awards from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development for his many contributions to the field of optometry. Dr. Kraskin passed away from cancer on May 14, 1996 in Washington D.C. at the age of 68.