Long time faculty member Darrell G. Schlange, OD '64, DOS, FAAO retired from ICO in December after teaching for 56 years and was named Associate Professor Emeritus by the Board of Trustees. With Emeritus status, he plans to stay involved and be an ambassador for ICO. "I plan to stay on part-time with the academic program and continue and complete my research which was put on hold when the pandemic began," says Dr. Schlange.
Dr. Schlange has taught nearly 7400 students during his storied career at ICO. "It is an honor to be one of the teachers and mentors for thousands of ICO graduates," he says. "Mentorship is hugely important, and I have been fortunate to have two mentors, Dr. Rosenbloom and Dr. Tennant, who played a significant role in shaping my professional career."
Reflecting on his legacy, Dr. Schlange
and his wife Ruth decided to create a way to give back, to help students long after his teaching days have passed. They decided to combine his love for pediatric optometry and his passion for helping students by establishing The Darrell G. Schlange, O.D. Scholarship Endowment for Excellence in Pediatric Optometry. They committed a gift of $25,000 so that this scholarship would be endowed. They recently joined Dr. Mark Colip to sign the official gift agreement, and the scholarship will become fully endowed by the end of 2022. The scholarship will be awarded to a 3rd or 4th year student who demonstrates a dedication to pediatric optometry through service, leadership, teaching, and lifelong learning.
When asked why he decided to endow a scholarship, Dr. Schlange stated, "I've devoted my life to teaching and to students. I wanted to continue my commitment to helping students with their education and the practice of pediatric optometry for generations to come. Additionally, I hope to inspire and encourage others to do the same."
"Alumni are a key part of our strength and have demonstrated steadfast dedication to our students throughout the history of ICO and optometry," he continued. "We are setting examples for others. The importance of one person, the impact you can make – it is powerful what you can do and the lives we can influence."
Dr. Schlange is a dedicated teacher, clinician, scholar, researcher, and humanitarian. His legacy of giving back to ICO, to students, and to the profession cannot be overstated. We are grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Schlange for their thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity.
To find out more about establishing a scholarship, please email email@example.com or call 312-949-7144.
To look back on Dr. Schlange's long tenure at ICO, we’ve put together a collection of pictures.
Be sure to check out the next issue of ICO Matters where we’ll be highlighting his career.