Lee Ann Remington

Lee Ann Remington, Optometry Professor. (Photo by Heidi Hoffman)

An Unexpected Career

If it hadn’t been for conversations with her husband’s friends, Lee Ann Remington O.D. '84 might have been a high school math teacher instead of an optometrist at Pacific for the last 25 years.  

Remington, who came to the University as a first-year optometry student in 1980, lived in Montana and had been a certified operating room technician (known as “scrub” nurse) in a hospital in Montana for 12 years. Married with two children, she said, “When the kids were in school I wanted to go back to college, thinking I would be a high school math teacher.”

However, two optometrists who golfed with her husband, Dan, persuaded her to join the optometric profession, she said. So, at age 34 she, Dan, and the two children, Tracy, who was 10 years old, and Ryan, then age 8, moved to Hillsboro and she began school. A non-traditional student when there weren’t so many around, she noted, “I didn’t attend a lot of optometry parties.” Instead, any spare time was spent with family and her children’s school events.

After graduating as a doctor of optometry in 1984, Remington noted that, "nobody in the family was ready to move back to Montana.” So, she became a teaching fellow for two years at the University and then joined the faculty as an instructor. She is now a full professor who is retiring to half-time status for the next three years. She will continue teaching classes and editing the next edition her textbook, "Clinical Anatomy of the Visual System."

The text, in use by about half of the optometry schools in the country, came about because, Remington said, the anatomy textbook she had used at Pacific as a student was out of print. She wrote numerous publishers asking if there was a substitute. Finally, she noted,  “I got a letter from one saying, ‘Why don’t you write it?’”

So, she did. Remington is now working on the third edition. Aimed at students and clinicians rather than visual scientists, the book is still valued by many former students. “It makes me feel good to hear from graduates who say the book has been very helpful,” she said.

Remington served on the University’s Board of Trustees for three years. “I really enjoyed the interaction with the people who served and was impressed with the concern they showed for the University…that was really a lovely experience.”

Among her most memorable moments at Pacific, she said, “I think commencement every year. It is so satisfying and gratifying to see how these wonderful students that I have gotten to know over four years have matured and gained so much knowledge, and we now get to call them ‘Doctor’.”

-- Wanda Laukkanen