Oregon Optometric Physicians Association Funds Optometry Scholarship in Perpetuity

A gift from the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA) has created an endowment that will provide financial support to Pacific University College of Optometry students in perpetuity.Girl receives eye exam

The Oregon Optometric Physicians Association Endowed Scholarship will provide scholarships to third-year optometry students who are Oregon residents, student members of OOPA, and who plan to stay in Oregon to practice optometry upon graduation.

For decades, Pacific's College of Optometry and OOPA, the local state affiliate of the American Optometric Association (AOA), have enjoyed a close partnership in educating future doctors of optometry and supporting current practitioners in Oregon. Membership in the AOA and OOPA provides Pacific’s optometry students the opportunity to build professional and industry relationships, and offers networking, mentorship, continuing education and practice management seminars, and even practice opportunities once they graduate. In turn, Pacific alumni are becoming the next generation of leaders through OOPA.

Last year, OOPA took their commitment to Pacific’s optometry students to the next level by establishing the organization’s first ever scholarship, which benefited five Pacific students. Now, with the creation of an endowed scholarship that will support Pacific’s optometry students for generations to come, the partnership between OOPA and Pacific University is stronger than ever.

“OOPA is so pleased to be able to make permanent this commitment to our future Oregon Optometric Physicians, which we were able to do from the proceeds from the sale of our Salem building,” OOPA executive director, Janet Baker, said. “Most, but not all of Oregon’s Optometric Physicians graduated from PUCO. Our members provide leadership at PUCO in so many ways, from serving on the faculty, to leading mission trips, to serving as attending physicians for students and more. Our doctors wholeheartedly supported dedicating part of our association’s resources to scholarships for PUCO students. They know firsthand the challenges of paying for their optometric education, and wanted to help.”  

The Pacific University College of Optometry was founded in 1921 as the North Pacific College of Optometry. It became part of Pacific University and the Forest Grove Campus in 1945, and produces comprehensive practitioners with expertise in general optometry, contact lenses, low vision, vision therapy, sports vision, and ocular disease. In 2020, the College of Optometry will celebrate 75 years of visionary excellence.

Founded in 1849, Pacific University is a diverse learning community offering a unique combination for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the arts and sciences, education, business, optometry and the health professions. Gifts to the university support its $80 million fundraising campaign, Lead On: The Campaign for Tomorrow at Pacific University, which seeks to grow endowments, learning environments and innovations for a boundless future for our students. To learn how to support student scholarships, outreach and other programs, like OOPA, visit pacificu.edu/lead-on.

Jul. 22, 2019