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History

Providing education and healthcare since 1872.

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From 1872 and the vision of Dr. Henry Olin, MD in founding the Chicago College of Ophthalmology and Otology to 1897 when Dr. George McFatrich amended our charter to be the first leading optometric institution to teach vision care to non-medical personnel our roots run deep. Although our name has changed several times over the course of our history, our commitment to eye health and the education of the next generation of doctors of optometry remain our focus.

A look through our timeline shows you how the history of ICO and the origins of optometry and optometric education are linked. Key innovations of our alumni and faculty show how ICO has been a leader in the profession from the beginning. From the early work of accrediting schools of optometry to Dr. Newton Wesley a pioneer in modern contact lenses and orthokeratology to telemedicine during and after the pandemic, ICO is always looking toward advancing the profession of optometry, the education of our future optometrist and the care of our patients.

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