Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry to Manage $3.5 Million Partnership Endowment

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ROCKVILLE, Md.—A new Partnership Endowment was established to aid schools and colleges of optometry through grants for programs and projects to advance optometric education. It was created by dissolving the Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education and transferring the $3.5 million fund balance to the new Partnership Endowment, which will now be governed and managed by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). The Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education was founded in 1996 by ASCO and the American Optometric Association.

“Since its establishment in 1996, the Partnership Foundation had become a true ‘partnership’ for the optometric community to invest in the future of the profession. However, the Foundation deliberated about the direction of the organization given the combined challenges of the economic climate and the changing needs of the profession over the years. Additionally, the original goals of the Foundation, which focused on using funds for capital improvements and modernization, are no longer a priority for optometry’s educational institutions,” according to a statement released by ASCO.

“The original creators of the Partnership can be proud that their vision to support optometric education will live on for generations to come,” said the Foundation’s president, Pete Kehoe, OD. “The collaboration and spirit of cooperation between ASCO, the American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association to transition to the Endowment is a testament to the passion that the organizations have for the future of our profession.”