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No. 2: AOSA Names Officers, Board Of Directors

September 19, 2013

Editor’s Note: To commemorate 50 years of groundbreaking news in optometry, we are publishing the Top 10 AOA News stories as selected by our readers from all five decades. Please share your commentary and personal stories on the site as well (http://connect.aoa.org). The AOA News ran the following article in December 1968.

On July 1, 1968, an order was proclaimed declaring the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) an official organization.

The AOSA is an affiliation of three optometric schools: Pennyslvania College, Indiana University, and University of California at Berkeley.

The remaining seven schools of optometry are expected to join the affiliation in the near future.

During the interim the AOSA Board of Directors have ruled that direct membership for one year be offered to students in these remaining schools.

Officers for the newly organized group are: Raymond Myers, IUO, president; Jeffrey Furman, PCO, vice-president, and Dr. Burton Worrell, UCO, Berkeley, editor.

Board of Directors — Donald Teig, PCO, and Larry Sayer, IUO.

The official organ of the AOSA, a news letter entitled the Student Review, made its debut in November.

Also, from the AOSA archives:

In 1942, the American Optometric Association (AOA) organized a committee to look into the possibility of a student organization, but planning was interrupted by the onset of World War II.

There were several attempts in the early sixties to establish communications among the schools and colleges of optometry, but it wasn’t until 1968 that the American Optometric Student Association actually was formed.

This was mainly due to the efforts of Raymond I. Myers, a student at the Indiana University School of Optometry, who became the organization’s first president.

The AOA endorsed the organization immediately.

In 1969, the AOSA received national recognition when Bob Middleton, the association’s second president, a student at PCO, testified before a Senate subcommittee as a representative of health professional students, an honor that at that time was shared only with the American Medical Student Association.

Also, in that year, Congress was ordering a Health Education cutback, an important issue for optometric students then as now—a very good reason why students needed a voice and a network of strength.

Burt Worrell, Jr., then a student at the University of California at Berkeley, School of Optometry was instrumental in publishing the first American Optometric Student Review in January 1969.

Today, the AOSA has grown to 6,300 members, or 88 percent of the students in the 23 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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