My family is spread out across the country. Our three sons and their wives are raising our nine grandchildren in locations hundreds or thousands of miles away from Chicago. When we all get together in one place it’s a rare and special occasion. There’s a friendly competition between the siblings for who has had the most unique recent experiences. There’s the retelling of old stories from when they were growing up. And there’s the warm bond of appreciation and love for other family members. I expect your families, even if they are not as geographically separated, have similar experiences. Families are unique. Even with all their quirks, they are very special.
Our ICO families are like this also. We can’t help but grow a real affection for classmates who struggled alongside us for four years to become doctors. The friends we made at ICO stay with us for years, even as we leave the college and Chicago. When we do see each other, old stories are retold, new experiences are shared, and we recall and relish the special kinship which developed during those four years together. As you’ll read in this issue, some of our ICO families are intertwined with our personal families, and that makes the relationship even more intense.
The educational and patient care experiences at ICO range more than 70 years–from the classes of the 1940s to those of the present day–and undoubtedly encompass a wide variety of curricula and programs. The annual report in this issue will give readers some perspective on what helps make ICO what we are today. Much of what keeps us working is the continuing support we receive from alumni. I thank you for maintaining these strong family bonds.
Arol Augsburger, OD