Last month, we had the pleasure of naming one of our newly renovated classrooms "Feder Hall" in recognition of the generous support provided to our institution and to our students by an alumnus, Dr. Mark Feder, and his wife Sherrie. (You can read a story about it in this issue.) And soon, we will be naming one of our new conference rooms after a long-time supporter of our institution, Dr. William Folsom. Another classroom on the second floor of our building is named for Dr. Folsom’s father. And of course there’s the Schwarz Theater on the lower level and the Schaffer Lounge with its beautiful vistas of Bryant Park.
Like nearly every higher education institution, there are a number of spaces throughout our campus that have been named for supporters who have, at various moments in our history, helped us in our continuous effort to move forward and excel at what we do. They have provided vital assistance to generations of our students through the establishment of scholarships. They have assisted us in our efforts to improve our infrastructure or provide high-quality care to a growing number of people in our community. In some cases they have helped to support our research activities as we work to advance eye and vision care forward.
With the passage of time, institutional memory often fades and the knowledge of why a particular room or space has a given name inevitably diminishes or, if we are not vigilant, disappears altogether. But all vibrant institutions have a strong sense of history and SUNY Optometry is no different. We’re proud of the role that we have played in the growth of the optometric profession over the years. And equally proud of the thousands of optometrists and scientists that we have educated here and the important role that we have played in caring for the health of our community. These supporters—Folsom, Schaffer, Schwarz, Schnurmacher, Feder and many, many others—aren’t just names on a plaque in a room. They are partners in our history of success and we honor the vital role that they have played along the way.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
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