ICO Timeline


| 1872 | 1887 | 1889 | 1891 | 1898 | 1907 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1926 | 1932
| 1936 | 1937 | 1936 | 1937 | 1941 | 1947 | 1949 | 1950 | 1952 | 1955 | 1956
| 1958 | 1959 | 1961 | 1964 | 1965 | 1967 | 1969 | 1972 | 1977 | 1978 | 1982
| 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1988 | 1994 | 1996 | 1997 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001
| 2002 | 2003 | 2005 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012

 

1872
Dr.Henry_OlinDr. Henry Olin founded the Chicago College of Ophthalmology and Otology.

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1887
Dr. James McFatrich joined Dr. Olin as a full partner in a practice specializing ophthalmology, after a two-year Cook County Hospital internship. He joined Olin’s faculty.

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1889
Dr. Olin retired for health reasons, and Dr. McFatrich took over both the practice and the school’s management.

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1891
Dr James McFatrichDr. James McFatrich changed the school’s name to Northern Illinois College of Ophthalmology and Otology (NICOO). Six years later, Dr. McFatrich developed a muriate of berberine-based eyedrop (Murine) and established the Murine Eye Remedy Company.

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1898
Dr. George McFatrich, brother of James McFatrich, took over management of NICOO and amended the school’s charter to be the first leading optometric institution to teach vision care to non-medical personnel.

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1907
Dr. Needles Ad, 1907Dr. William Bray Needles founded the Needles Institute of Optometry (NIO) in Kansas City, Mo.

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1921
During a Chicago speaking engagement Dr. Needles met with Dr. McFatrich, who offered him ownership of NICOO.

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1922
Dr. Needles purchased NICOO’s stock and left Dr. Ernest Occhiena in charge of the Needles Institute of Optometry.

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1923
Dr. Carl L. Shepard headed NICOO’s research department.

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1926
Northern Illinois College of Optometry AdvertisementDr. Needles merged NICOO and NIO, moved operations to Chicago, and changed the school’s name to Northern Illinois College of Optometry (NICO).

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1932
NICO opened the Northern Illinois Eye Institute to the public, treating patients from surrounding schools and welfare agencies, becoming the world’s largest vision correction facility.

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1936
Dr. Reuben Seid established the Midwestern College of Optometry.

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1937
Dr. Seid hired Dr. Carl Shepard from NICO to serve as dean and renamed his school the Monroe College of Optometry (MCO).

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1941
The American Optometric Association adopted the Manual of Accrediting Schools and Colleges of Optometry written by NICO’s Drs. Irvin Borish (NICO ’34) and Eugene Freeman (NICO ’35).

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1947
Morton L. Abram, LLD, DOS changed MCO’s name to Chicago College of Optometry (CCO) and filed a Council on Education accreditation application.

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1949
The first African American optometrist to become a faculty member at an accredited U.S. college, Dr. Junius Brodnax (MCO ’47), joined the CCO staff. Dr. Walter Yasko (NICO ’48) became Northern Illinois Eye Clinic’s assistant chief of staff.

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1950
Dr. Eugene Tennant (MCO ’45) became CCO’s Clinic Administrator. Dr. Frederick Kushner (NICO ’46) was appointed NICO’s dean.

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1952
Dr. Eugene Strawn (MCO ’40) became president of CCO’s Alumni Association. He soon became a board member and its executive vice president.

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1955
Dr.Eugene StrawnNICO and the Chicago College of Optometry, the two most prestigious optometry colleges of the time, merged to become the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO). Dr. Eugene Strawn (pictured left) became ICO’s first president. Dr. Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr. (NICO ’48) became ICO’s first dean. Dr. Frederick Kushner became ICO’s first Alumni Association president.

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1956
The ICO Eye Clinic was dedicated.

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1958
ICO started the student externship program.

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1959
Dr. Leo Manas (NICO ’46), specializing in visual training, published his book Visual Analysis and invented the ICO Maze.

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1961
Dr. Stanley C. Pearle (NICO ’39) pioneered the concept of one-stop, total eye care with the opening of Pearle Vision. Dr. Frederick Kushner and Dr. C.K. Hill (NICO ’49) initiated an Alumni Association fund raising drive that provided exceptional financial support for ICO.

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1964
Construction began on Brady Hall, which provided on-campus dormitory housing for ICO students.

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1965
Brady Hall Dedication, 1965Brady Hall was dedicated and ground was broken for a clinic wing.

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1967
ICO changed its curriculum from a three-year to a four-year professional program.

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1969
Drs. John Howlette (CCO ’51) and C. Clayton Powell (CCO ’52) founded the National Optometric Association.

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1972
Dr. Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Jr. was named ICO’s second president.

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1977
ICO’s infant care clinic and exceptional persons clinic opened.

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1978
The Hydrogel lens, the first soft-contact lens, received FDA approval. It was developed by Drs. Newton Wesley and George Jessen (MCO ’45). Federal Health Services & Centers recognized optometrists as providers of primary care vision services.

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1982
Dr. Boyd B. Banwell (NICO ’54) became ICO’s third president. President Gerald Ford presented the commencement address.

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1983
ICO’s sports vision service was established.

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1984
Illinois Eye Institute, 1984The ICO Eye Clinic was renamed Illinois Eye Institute (IEI).

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1985
The 50,000-square-foot building addition was completed.

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1988
The Strawn Wing and building additions were dedicated. Gov. Jim Thompson gave the commencement address.

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1994
ICO offered the nation’s first combined OD/PhD degree program.

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1996
Dr. Charles F. MullenDr. Charles F. Mullen became ICO’s fourth president.

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1997
Dr. Janice ScharreDr. Janice Scharre ’76 was named dean of ICO, the first woman dean at a school or college of optometry.

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1999
ICO created a new “one card” system for students to use for purchases in the cafeteria, bookstore and vending machines.

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2000
For the first time in the school’s history, ICO’s National Board pass rate placed above the national pass rate.

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2001
Vision of Hope Health Alliance was established at the IEI to provide eye and vision care to thousands of adult patients without insurance coverage. The Private Practice Clerkship was developed to teach private practice management to students between their first and second years of study.

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2002
Dr. Arol AugsburgerDr. Arol Augsburger was named ICO’s fifth president.

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2003
ICO launched VisionCite, the most comprehensive index of vision-related periodicals.

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2005
ICO celebrated its 50th anniversary under its present name.T he Fait Family Eyewear Center was dedicated in the IEI, the result of a generous donation from Dr. Robert Fait ’68. ICO became the first optometric institution ever to receive a Robert Wood Johnson community partnership grant.

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2006
The IEI is the first optometric clinic to incorporate a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) on site.

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2007
ICO’s Clinical Research Suite opened.

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2008
ICO's EyepodICO held its first Focus on Your Future program, week-long summer event to promote the optometric profession to underrepresented minority students interested in optometry. The Eyepod, ICO’s third floor pre-clinic, basic science, and research labs, was completely renovated.

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2009
The Illinois Eye Institute Foundation (IEIF) was developed to raise funds for the charitable services and programs delivered by the IEI .A new state-of-the-art Visual Electrodiagnostic Center was dedicated and funded by a grant made possible by Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter.

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2010
ICO enrolled 20 minority students, the highest number in recent memory for any optometry school. ICO’s new Communications and Media Center was re-engineered with a more centralized approach to improve the quality of how the institution communicates with its varied audiences.

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2011
The ICO Lecture CenterThe ICO Lecture Center (pictured left) was renovated to include state-of-the-art technology. Dr. Richard S. Kattouf ’72 established the Kattouf Program for the Advancement of Independent Optometry, providing practice management consultations for students and residents. A new IEI community-based clinic opened at Princeton Elementary School, serving Chicago Public School children in need of eye and vision care.Primary eye/vision care at community-based health centers (FQHC’s) expanded to include Alivio, Erie and Access. The Illinois Eye Institute invested in the NextGen electronic health record system to document the 100,000-plus annual patient visits to the clinic.

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2012
Dr Alfred and Sarah RosenbloomThe Alfred and Sarah Rosenbloom Center for Vision and Aging was dedicated.

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