Optometry through the Decades
We celebrate 75 years of Optometry at Pacific University with a look back through the years.
1921 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 1942
1945 Pacific University agrees to acquire the shuttered school, offers first classes in Marsh Hall
1947 Pacific issues first doctor of optometry degree
1952 Jefferson Hall opens as new home for College of Optometry
1975 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 degree
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 clinic
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 Association
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.