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ICO Graduating Class of 2019

Commencement 2019

May 19, 2019, was a unique milestone in the Illinois College of Optometry’s history. Our 176th Commencement took place just one day after the College’s 6th Presidential Inauguration and the dedication of the Dr. Robert and Lena Lewenson Pediatric and Binocular Vision Center. We returned to the Chicago Symphony Center to welcome 156 new doctors into the profession of optometry.

The 2019 Commencement Address was delivered by Dr. Karen Eng. In addition to chairing ICO’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Eng is a CEO, philanthropist, and mentor to underrepresented populations. She presented the Presidential medallion to Dr. Mark Colip during the ceremony. Dr. Colip, as part of his first Commencement as ICO President, distributed challenge coins to each graduate.

Relive ICO’s 2019 Commencement with this collection of media and materials. In addition to the below, video footage and pictures can be found on social media using hashtag #ICOClassof2019.

Each graduate is now a member of ICO’s expansive alumni network. Click the links to the left to discover the resources and opportunities available to all ICO alumni.

Congratulations, new doctors!


Press Release – Complete and send this document to your hometown paper for some well-earned local love.

The Program – Reference the program used during the 2019 ceremony.

Entire Ceremony – View the full ceremony on Facebook.


As you step into your careers as practicing optometrists, remember Dr. Eng’s wishes for your past, present, and future:

The Past“Honor your struggle.” – Optometry school is not easy. Boards are not easy. Building clinical skills, studying, volunteer work, working and living in Chicago- these opportunities are amazing, but none are easy. Throughout your years at ICO, you have faced so much, but all of you did it- together! Remember that the next time things get tough. You can do it.

The Present“Adopt a role model mindset.” – Role models are thoughtful, generous, respectful and kind. You can now serve as a role model to others just as your role models have helped shape and mold you as a doctor. Once the excitement of Commencement has passed, please think about the people in your life that helped pivot it to this point. Thank them sooner, rather than later- and definitely sooner than 27 years!

The Future“Find a bold future.” – While we would all want the eyes of our patients to be within the normal limits, clear and quiet, I hope you live your lives a little bit outside the normal. Be colorful and loud. Realize what is important and what it is not. Think less of what others think of you than what you think of yourself. Smile genuinely, because you are truly proud of yourself and you are the person you have worked so hard to become.


156 members in the graduating class
27 states represented
5 Canadian provinces represented
92 award winners
$200,000+ in scholarships and awards were recognized at Capstone