Optometry through the Decades

We celebrate 75 years of Optometry at Pacific University with a look back through the years.

1945 to 2020 | 75 Years of Focusing on Pupils

vintage round glasses1921  North Pacific College of Optometry founded in Northeast Portland

1940  Alumni Newton Wesley ‘39, Hon. ’86, Roy Clunes and Clarence Carkner ’41 buy North Pacific’s charter, operating the school until 1942vintage glasses with octagonal wire frames

1945  Pacific University agrees to acquire the shuttered school, offers first classes in Marsh Hall

1947  Pacific issues first doctor of optometry degreewhite plastic cat-eye glasses

1952  Jefferson Hall opens as new home for College of Optometry

a pair of browline glasses1975  AMIGOS Eye Care, a nonprofit organization of students, doctors and lay people affiliated with the College of Optometry, is established. It will become one of the largest eye care providing organizations in the world, now affiliated with VOSH International

1986 Newton Wesley ‘39, Hon. ’86, awarded honorary doctor of science degreeround wire glasses with tinted red lenses

2002  Vision Performance Institute founded (originally at The Ohio State University, though it would later move to Pacific)

2003  College of Optometry launches its first EyeVan, a retrofitted delivery van that served as a mobile clinicthick plastic tinted frameless lenses with leopard print earpieces

2017  Pacific dedicates brand new EyeVan, a 33-foot recreational vehicle that provides care for underserved people in Oregon and Southwest Washington

2018  College of Optometry named School of the Year by the National Optometric Associationround wire glasses with double nosepiece and yellow tinted lenses

2020  College of Optometry confers its first three bachelor’s in vision science degrees

This timeline is part of a collection celebrating 75 years of Optometry that first appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit pacificu.edu/magazine.

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020