May 19, 2011 (CHICAGO) -The Illinois College of Optometry is proud to announce that Charles F. Mullen, OD, who served as president of the institution from 1996 until 2002, will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 ICO Commencement Ceremony to be held at 11:00 a.m., May 21, at Rockefeller Chapel. Dr. Mullen also will receive the honorary degree, Doctor of Science in Optometry, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession of optometry.
Dr. Mullen has served the profession with great distinction since earning his doctor of optometry degree in 1969 from the New England College of Optometry. He has tirelessly advocated for the interdisciplinary approach to clinical education and patient care, and he successfully led the initiative to certify the first American optometrists in the use of pharmaceutical agents.
Under his leadership at ICO, Dr. Mullen increased the College’s externship sites from 9 to 144, significantly improved students’ performance on national board examinations, affiliated ICO with the University of Chicago, and developed and implemented a performance-based strategic plan that positioned ICO for future success.
Dr. Mullen has received more than 30 prestigious honors and awards, including being inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame for lifetime contributions to the profession. Dr. Mullen serves on the boards of NECO and the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh and has previously served as chair of the board of directors at the New England Eye Institute.
About the Illinois College of Optometry
The Illinois College of Optometry, founded in 1872 by Dr. Henry Olin, provides excellence in optometric clinical education and is among the world’s leading urban optometric institutions. Located in Chicago, ICO has a distinguished legacy of providing aspiring optometrists the education and experience needed to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment and become leaders who will champion their patients and the profession alike. For more information please visit the Illinois College of Optometry website.