Medal Monday: Elmer S. Friedberg, OD
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Medal Monday: Elmer S. Friedberg, OD

President’s Medal Recipients

Elmer S. FriedbergMany 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. 

Elmer S. Friedberg, OD ’38, FAAO

Throughout his professional career, Dr. Elmer S. Friedberg made significant contributions to the field of optometry with a particular emphasis in the military. Dr. Friedberg, a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the lives of an entire air crew during a bombing mission over Germany in 1944.

The plane which Dr. Friedberg was aboard when he had to save the crew

The plane which Dr. Friedberg was aboard when he had to save the crew. 

From 1968 to 1971, he was chairman of the American Optometric Association and also served as a consultant to the association’s Committee on Military Affairs. In 1958, Dr. Friedberg was admitted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and served on numerous executive positions on the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and the Berks County Optometric Society during the course of his career.

Elmer S. Friedberg military photoFor more than 30 years, Dr. Friedberg was an adjunct professor for Military Optometry at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO). He received the Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year award in 1984 and the Presidential Medal of Honor from PCO in 1995.  As a lifelong member of the Alumni Association, he was also a member of PCO’s Board of Trustees from 1968 to 1970 and again from 1990 to 1999.

Throughout his career Dr. Friedberg received numerous additional honors and leadership awards from county, state and national professional optometric associations in addition to being a  member of numerous groups and organizations throughout the Delaware Valley.

Dr. Friedberg passed away on April 17, 2009 at the age of 92. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.