Unlimited Visibility for the Southern California College of Optometry
"We aviators have a term for where Optometry finds itself today and that term is CAVU meaning Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited, " said Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., during his formal induction as the Seventh President of the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO). "CAVU represents the ideal conditions for flight, no clouds and clear for as far as the eye can see. Pilots love CAVU conditions because there are no limitations – no storms, no ice and no turbulence. The only limits to reaching a destination are those imposed by the pilot and his machine. At this precise moment, it is truly CAVU for Optometry."
Dr. Alexander, an optometrist and pilot, made his remarks during the academic inauguration ceremony held, Saturday, April 18, on SCCO's Fullerton campus. The new President's Inaugural Address, "CAVU for Optometry," gave a nod to past leaders, the evolution of the profession of optometry, and his vision for the future of the profession and the College.
"If we approach the challenges of the next few decades with the confidence and self-assurance of the pilot taking off in CAVU conditions, our profession will flourish as optometrists continue to improve lives with better vision," said Dr. Alexander.
Former Astronaut and Professor Lawrence J. DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Optometry, presented the Induction Address, "To Go Boldly Where No Profession Has Gone Before." Dr. DeLucas' speech was followed by the Presentation and Investiture of the President by SCCO Chairman, Board of Trustees, Charles A. Munson, C.P.A.
Participating in the ceremony were SCCO's two Immediate Past Presidents. They are: Richard L. Hopping, O.D., D.O.S., D.Sc., 1973–1997 and Lesley L. Walls, O.D., M.D., D.O.S., D.O.S., 1997–2008.
Also taking part in the ceremony were Representatives from the Community; Official Delegates from Colleges and Universities; Representatives from SCCO's Student Association, Alumni Association and Faculty; and Representatives from the profession of Optometry. Bands from California State University, Fullerton, performed at the ceremony and reception.
Dr. Alexander began his tenure as SCCO's new President on July 1, 2008. He brings three-decades of experience and leadership in optometric practice and education to the 105-year-old SCCO. The Ohio native's credentials also include a solid commitment to organized optometry. Immediately prior to joining SCCO, he completed a one-year stint as President of the 35,000-member American Optometric Association.
Dr. Alexander has earned four degrees from The Ohio State University (TOSU). They are: Bachelor of Science, June 1974; Doctor of Optometry, June 1976; Master of Science, Physiological Optics, August 1977; and Doctor of Philosophy, Physiological Optics, August 1979. He completed a Fellowship in Vitreo-Retinal Disease in 1995 at Retina Vitreous Associates affiliated with TOSU.
Prior to his July 2000 start as dean of the optometry program at Ferris State University, Dr. Alexander practiced optometry in private and group settings. He also held faculty positions at The Ohio State University, College of Optometry. For many years he has shared his expertise in the area of ocular disease with optometrists and other health care providers through his publications and scientific papers and continuing education lectures.
As an optometrist, Dr. Alexander has actively served his profession beginning with his 1976 membership in the Ohio Optometric Association to his recently completed volunteer position as president of the American Optometric Association, 2007–08. He has chaired or co-chaired numerous state and national committees including the AOA's 2005–06 series of summit meetings, Optometry 2020, that have outlined the preferred future for the profession.
SCCO's new President holds many honors and awards. Among the most notable are: The Ohio State University, College of Optometry H. Ward Ewalt Medal for Distinguished Service, 2007; Michigan Optometric Association Keyperson of the Year, 2002; Distinguished Practitioner, National Academies of Practice, 2000; Trustee, American Optometric Association, 1999–2004; Past President, Ohio Optometric Association, 1996; Outstanding Service Award, Ohio Optometric Association, 1992 and 1998; Ohio Optometric Association Warren Morris Optometrist of the Year, 1989; Outstanding Service Award, Epsilon Psi Epsilon, 1987; and The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1980.
Dr. Alexander's wife, Carol L. Alexander, O.D., is also a TOSU graduate. Prior to moving to California she transferred her private optometric practice of 17 years in Sylvania, OH, to a new Doctor of Optometry graduate.
The Southern California College of Optometry is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to providing the highest quality optometric education through excellence in teaching, patient care, research, public service and institutional management. SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (O.D.). A baccalaureate degree is a requirement for admission. The College's superior clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups.