On May 17, the doctor of optometry degree was conferred upon the 151 members of the class of 2014 at ICO’s 171st commencement ceremony, which took place at Rockefeller Chapel. In his opening remarks, President Arol Augsburger, OD, reflected on the graduates’ four-year journey. He noted that during their tenure at ICO, the college established the Chicago Vision Outreach program and partnered with Chicago Public Schools, completed the new Lecture Center, and launched a course covering out-patient surgical and laser procedures. Dr. Kelli Theisen was honored as valedictorian.
At the suggestion of the graduating class, entertainer Tom Sullivan gave the keynote address. It was his second visit to ICO in less than a year, his first appearance coming last September during an event in support of the American Optometric Association’s InfantSEE program. Blind since infancy, Sullivan shared stories from his childhood, sang a few bars of “Danny Boy” and announced to the grads, “Your goal is to eradicate blindness from the face of the earth. Does that scare the hell out of you?” He observed the intensely personal nature of the profession and encouraged the class of 2014 to embark on their careers with zeal, pronouncing, “Let passion ring.”