NEW YORK—The State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry community is gearing up to celebrate 50 years of study and service this year. A virtual celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the college's founding was held yesterday evening to kick off a year-long commemorative campaign stretching through June 2022 highlighting the history and contributions of the College to optometric education, patient care, and research in New York and worldwide. The tribute included the Optometric Center of New York, the college’s foundation and the University Eye Center, one of the largest optometric outpatient facilities in the nation, observing 65 years of care in the community.

In honor of the occasion, SUNY Optometry received special recognition from state and local government offices, including a citation from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as a proclamation from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"We have reached a special milestone in the journey of SUNY College of Optometry, and I am quite honored to be part of the leadership team at this time in the college's history," said SUNY Optometry president, David A. Heath, OD, EdM. "As we rise above the challenges presented by the unprecedented health crisis and move forward with renewed vigor, we are excited to share in this moment with our community and give thanks to our students, alumni, staff, volunteers, and supporters both close to home and globally who have made our 50 years of growth and success possible."

To keep campus constituents connected throughout the celebration, SUNY Optometry has released a 50th anniversary website that includes a timeline of the developments and achievements of the college since its establishment in 1971, in addition to updates about events and ways to show support. Through the site, students, staff, alumni, and supporters are invited to share stories about the SUNY Optometry experience and impact on their lives. SUNY Optometry stories and salutes can also be shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #50YearsofSUNYO.

Located in the heart of New York City, all classrooms, research facilities and the University Eye Center are located on 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan. SUNY College of Optometry was established on April 14, 1971, in response to the call from a dedicated group of optometrists and benefactors to address the gap in optometric education and professional development in New York.

A half-century later, SUNY Optometry remains the only school of optometry in New York State and is recognized as one of the leading optometric education and vision research centers across the globe. SUNY Optometry pride is proudly represented by more than 3,400 graduates and counting in the U.S. and abroad.

The college is a leader in education, research, and patient care, offering the Doctor of Optometry degree as well as MS and PhD degrees in vision science. SUNY Optometry conducts a robust program of basic, translational and clinical research and has 65 affiliated clinical training sites as well as an on-site University Eye Center.

SUNY Optometry is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; its four-year professional degree program and residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association.