A Closer Look: Honorary Degrees
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A Closer Look: Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees - Doctor Science

 William H. Gray, III speaking at commencement

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Law 1987 Recipient Honorable William H. Gray, III

The Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) was first approved by the Department of Education and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to award an honorary Doctor of Science (SCD), a Doctor of Laws (LLD), and a Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD.) in 1963.  PCO, and now Salus, was approved to provide the honorary degrees at commencement or special academic convocations to recognize unusual merit, creative leadership, or distinctive accomplishments in scholarship, arts and letters, individual professions or service to mankind of national or international significance. The first honorary Doctor of Science degree was presented to Dr. Julius F. Neumueller, professor emeritus, physical and geometrical optics, in 1963. 

Achievements in the professions of health and sciences, clinical care, educational advancement, public health, research, government service, and the social concerns of our times are considered among the categories for nominations. To assure the highest standard of distinction and singularity and to establish the prestige and status of the honorary degree, the University exercises great discretion in the number of honorary degrees and awards during the course of any one academic year. Nominations for the honorary degree are forwarded to the institution’s Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee of the Board of Trustees and presented to the full board for its approval.

Tomorrow, during the 2018 Fall Commencement, Dr. Janice E. Scharre, FAAO, immediate past provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will receive her Honorary Doctor of Science Degree as she joins the list below of distinguished recipients of this prestigious honor:

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science

1963  *Dr. Julius F. Neumueller, Emeritus Professor of Physical and Geometrical Optics,                            Pennsylvania College of Optometry

              1964  Arlin M. Adams, Esq., Former Secretary of Welfare, Commonwealth of                                               Pennsylvania

              1965  *Dr. William W. Hagerty, President, Drexel Institute

              1966  *Honorable Harrison A. Williams, U. S. Senator, New Jersey

              1967  *Honorable Marvin V. Keller, Member, Pennsylvania Senate

                        *Dr. Onofrey G. Rybachok, Professor of Anatomy

              1968  *Honorable Alfred E. Driscoll, Former Governor of New Jersey

              1969  *Dr. Edward J. Fisher, Director, Waterloo University

                        *Dr. Glenn A. Fry, Regents Professor, The Ohio State University

                        *Dr. Carel C. Koch, Secretary, American Academy of Optometry

                        *Dr. H. Ward Ewalt, Jr., Past President, American Optometric Association (AOA)

                        *Dr. Henry W. Hofstetter, Past President, AOA

                        *Dr. Harold Kohn, Counsel Emeritus, AOA

                        *Dr. David H. Kurtzman, Former Commissioner of Education,

                          Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

              1970  *Dr. William Greenspon, Past President, International Association,

                          Board of Examiners

              1971  *Dr. John C. Neill, Emeritus Professor of Contact Lens Practice

                        *Dr. Jacob Nevyas, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

              1972  *Dr. Harold Simmerman, Emeritus Professor of Ocular Biology, Pennsylvania                                    College of Optometry (PCO)

              1973  Dr. Alden Norman Haffner, Dean, State Univ. of New York College of Optometry

              1974  Dr. Quentin R. Orlando, Member, Pennsylvania Senate

                        *Dr. Kenneth Milo Endicott, Department of Health, Education and Welfare 

              1975   Dr. Irvin M. Borish, Professor of Optometry, Indiana University

              1976  *Dr. Meredith Walter Morgan, Dean, School of Optometry,

                           University of California at Berkeley

                        *Dr. John McAllister, Sr., Posthumous Optometric Pioneer

              1977  Dr. Leonard Bachman, Secretary of Health, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

              1978  Dr. Lorrin Andrews Riggs, Emeritus Professor, Brown University

              1980  Dr. Alan M. Laties, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

              1981  *Dr. Israel Dvorine, Inventor

              1982  *Dr. Luis W. Alvarez, Emeritus Professor, University of California

              1983  Dr. Harris Ripps, Professor, NY University Medical Center

              1984  Dr. Adolph Irvin Cohen, Professor, Washington Univ. School of Medicine

              1987  Dr. Irving Bennett  '44, President, Advisory Enterprises, Inc.

              1990  Dr. Norman E. Wallis, Past President of PCO, Executive Director,

                         National Board of Examiners in Optometry

              1993  Dr. Donald R. Korb, Private Practitioner

              1994  *Dr. William W. Policoff, Posthumous, Optometric Pioneer

              1995  Prof. Dr. Guiseppe Grimaldi, President, International Lions Club

              1997  Dr. Carl Kupfer, Director, National Eye Institute

              1999  Dr. Brien Holden, Director, Cooperative Research Center for

                         Eye Research & Technology, University of New South Wales

                        *Dr. John Perry, Jr., '24, Emeritus Member, Board of Trustees

              2001  Dr. Anthony Adams, Dean, University of California at Berkeley, School of     


              2002  Dr. Gerald Chader, Chief Scientific Officer, The Foundation Fighting                                                   Blindness           

              2003  Dr. William Baldwin, Former President, River Blindness Foundation

              2004 Dr. Stanley J. Yamane, Former Vice President Prof. Affairs, Vistakon

              2005  Dr. Serge Resnikoff, Coordinator, World Health Organization

              2006 Dr. Wolfgang Cagnolati, Duisburg, Germany

              2007  Mr. Raymond Kurzweil, President, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

              2008 Dr. Lucille Beck, Audiologist

                        Dr. Jerald Strickland, Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Studies,

                        University of Houston

             2009  Dr. Judith Gravel* (posthumously), Audiologist,   

             2010   Dr. John Amos, Professor of Optometry, School of Optometry, University of


                         Dr. Fred Bess, Professor and Director, Nat’l Ctr. For Childhood Deafness and

                         Family Community

              2011   Dr. Michael Boulton, Professor in Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of


             2012   Mr. Douglas Anderson, Founder, Optos PLC

             2015   Dr. Harvey Rubin, Director, Institution  For Strategic Threat Analysis and                                           Response, University of Pennsylvania

             2017   Dr. David Nash, Founding Dean, Jefferson College of Population Health

                         Dr. Rachel Levine, Physician General, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

             2018   Dr. Lorraine Lombardi, Emeritus Professor, Salus University

                         Dr. Janice Scharre, MA, FAAO, Emeritus Professor, Provost, Salus University

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws

1974              Honorable Samuel M. Lehrer, Judge, Philadelphia Municipal Court

              1975  *          Honorable Daniel J. Flood, Member, U.S. House of Representatives

              1976  *          Honorable Nochem S. Winnet, Trustee Emeritus

              1977  *          Mr. J. Harold Bailey, Executive Director, AOA

              1978              Honorable Donald J. Mitchell, Member, U.S. House of Representatives

              1979              Mr. James Alfred Lee, President of the World Bank

              1980  *          Dr. William Feinbloom, Pioneer, Low Vision

              1982             Dr. Robert C. Wilburn, Office of Budget & Administration, Commonwealth                                        of  Pennsylvania

              1983              Ellis Lyons, Esq. General Counsel, AOA

              1984              Mr. Leonard Abramson, President, U.S. Health Care Systems, Inc.

              1985              Mr. David Brenner, Entertainer

              1986              Honorable John Stauffer, Member, Pennsylvania Senate

              1987              Honorable William H. Gray, III, Member, U.S. House of Representatives

              1988  *          Ms. Maggie Kuhn, Founder, The Gray Panthers

                                    Dr. Martin Hafter  '49, Member, Board of Trustees

              1989              Sister M. L. Antoun, Past President Villa Maria College,                                                                           Kenneth B. Lee, Esq., Member, Board of Trustees

              1991              Dr. Constance E. Clayton, Superintendent of Schools, Philadelphia

                                    Mr. Thomas E. Eichhorst, Council; American Optometric Association

              1994              Mr. John M. Torok, Partner, The Torok Group

              1999              Dr. John Robinson, '54, Executive Director, NC Board of Examiners in                                               Optometry

             2007               The Honorable James Ryun, Congressman

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters

            1992                Mr. Nelson G. Harris, President, Tastykake Baking Company

            1993                Mr. Bernard W. Walsh, President, Vistakon, Inc.

            1994                Dr. G. Burtt Holmes, Private Practitioner, Retired

            1996                Mr. Gérand Cottet, Chairman & CEO, Essilor International

            1997    *          Dr. John D. Perry, Jr. ‘28, Private Practitioner, Retired

            1997                Mr. Jack Weightman, Vice President/General Manager, Alcon Vision Care

            1998                Dr. Melvin Wolfberg ‘51, Past President of PCO       

            2000              Dr. Harvey Hanlen, 74, Private Practitioner & President AOA

            2005               Mr. Clement Kusiak, President, Lions Club International

            2008               Dr. Akio Kanai, President, All Japan Optometric and Optical Association

            2009               Rear Admiral Michael Mittelman, Berk, Virginia

            2010               Mr. Lawrence Campbell, President, International Council for Education of                                        People with Visual Impairment

                                    Dr.  Kenneth Moritsugu, Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service (Retired)