Dean Henry B. Peters and the first UAB optometry students, 1969. Members of the first class were recruited by Dean Peters and began their studies at the end of September 1969. Pictured from left, front row, Michael E. Raim, Eugenie Sturtevant, Dean Henry B. Peters, Neil M. Bleakley, and Ronald E. Dachelet; and back row, Nelson G. Crandall, Ernest S. Spohn, Alan G. Tavel, and Gene J. Terrezza. The School of Optometry awarded its first bachelor degrees in physiological optics in 1971 and its first Doctor of Optometry degrees in 1973.
Photo courtesy of the UAB Archives, University of Alabama at Birmingham
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. The AOA News ran the following article in November 1967.
The establishment of a College of Optometry at the University of Alabama Medical Center at Birmingham became assured recently as Gov. Lurleen Wallace approved legislation providing $50,000 per year in funds for the next two years to get the college started.
Full information will be forthcoming in the near future as plans develop, according to Donald A. Springer, O.D., Anniston, Ala., chairman of the new college committee,
Southern Council of Optometrists.
1969: UAB-The Alabama State Legislature has appropriated $500,000 as funds for a new School of Optometry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
A special advisory committee is considering appointment of a Dean for the new optometry program.
The first students are expected to be enrolled for the fall ‘69 term.
Events leading to the creation of the new optometry school with an explanation as to becoming an integral part of the UAB complex were explained by Dr. J.F. Volker, president of the University, in the May issue of the UAB-Medical Center Bulletin. Read the rest of this entry »