Klein School of Optics Established
August Klein, a German immigrant and practicing ophthalmologist, opens the Klein School of Optics at 2 Rutland Street Boston. The school offers the first formal training in optics and refraction in the United States.
The one year curriculum of Optics, Anatomy, Pathology, Mathematics, Physics, Dispensing, and Refraction is expanded to include Ophthalmology, Chemistry, Trigonometry, and Mechanical Optics. August Klein teaches Chemistry and Anatomy and his son Theodore teaches Physics. Tuition for full course is $75 and a single term is $30.
15 Students Graduate
Among 15 men and women graduating this year is Herman Klein, a son of August Klein.
Massachusetts School of Optometry
The Klein School becomes the Massachusetts School of Optometry.
Two year program established
A formal two-year program is offered as an alternative to the last half of high school. The school is reorganized and incorporated with Theodore Klein as Director.
Students Required to be 19
The school requires students to be 19 years old to coincide with license eligibility of 21, as mandated by the Board of Registration of Optometry. The school is located at 168 Massachusetts Avenue.
New Admissions requirements
In addition to the age stipulation, admission requirements no include four years of high school or the equivalent of “good moral character.” Tuition is now $175 per year. In addition to August and Theodore Klein, the faculty includes Wilhelmina Klein Svedsen, August’s daughter, for Anatomy and Physics, and Herman for Practice Optics and Business Management.
Ralph Green Enrolls at School
Ralph Green enrolls in a class of 20; three years later, he joins the faculty for more than 35 years. He serves as Dean from 1946-1965.
School memorabilia collection begins
Morris Berman graduates with nine others (out of an original 13) and begins a collection of School memorabilia that adds significantly to our archives.
First external clinic opens
The School moves to 1112 Boylston Street. The Massachusetts Optometric Clinic opens at 1114 - 1118 Boylston at the Harry E. Burroughs Newsboys Foundation Medical Clinic. The first patients, were boys off the streets of Boston's West End and they were supplied with glasses at no cost.
Course of Study extended
The course of study is extended from two to three years. Ralph Green starts a school basketball team!
Theodore Klein named 2nd President
August Klein dies. Theodore Klein is named the second President and serves for the next ten years.
Epsilon Omicron Sigma Formed
Epsilon Omicron Sigma, the School’s first sorority, is formed.
Four Year Curriculum Begins
A four-year curriculum is initiated. Tuition and fees are $375. The School remains at 1112 Boylston but the Clinic moves to 472 Commonwealth Avenue.
Ralph Green becomes Dean
John Asarkof joins Otto Hochstadt and about 18 other faculty members in reporting to Ralph Green, who is now Dean. Dr. Asarkof notes that the profession was still developing, “We did refractions, fitted glasses. Contact lenses were in their infancy.”
WWII interrupts education
Frank Kozol, who had enrolled in a class of 100 the previous year, joins other students to interrupt their education and join the service. He will complete his education after the War and join the faculty in 1951.
Tight times during WWII
As WWII ends, enrollment drops sharply to four or five students in each class and finances dwindle. School facilities are consolidated with the Clinic at 472 Commonwealth Avenue.
Herman Klein becomes third President
Shortly before his death, Theodore Klein moves the School to Huntington Avenue, over a bowling alley. The Clinic remains at 472 Commonwealth. On the verge of disbanding, new incorporators name Herman Klein - President, Ralph Green - Vice President and Dean, and Theodora Klein -Secretary. Herman Klein becomes third President of the school.
Non-profit charter granted
After the reorganization, a non-profit charter is granted with the right to confer professional degrees. An accelerated program to assist returning G.I.s sees the class size grow from 28 to 98.
School is accredited by AOA
The American Optometric Association (AOA) Council on Education and Professional Guidance grants unconditional accreditation.
School moves to Newbury Street
The School acquires and moves into a new location at 178 Newbury Street.
Massachusetts College of Optometry
The School becomes the Massachusetts College of Optometry and is granted the right to confer the degree of Bachelor of Science in Optometry. The following year, the school begins to confer the Doctor of Optometry and honorary Doctor of Ocular Science. The tuition is $400 and class size is 60.
Joseph Montminy Sr. becomes fourth President
Joseph Montminy Sr. is selected as the College’s fourth President and serves until 1962. Herman Klein dies.
Boston Eye Clinic Established
The College remains in property acquired in 1948 at 178 Newbury Street. The College purchases 472 Commonwealth Avenue from the Klein family and establishes the Boston Eye Clinic.
First Doctor of Optometry conferred
Ira Schwartz receives the College’s first Doctor of Optometry degree, having completed the four-year program in three years.
Contact Lens Offering
A 20-hour post-graduate course in contact lens fitting is offered. The College retires the mortgage, held by the Boston Wesleyan Society, on the Horace Mann Building.
G. Edward Bradley becomes President
The College selects G. Edward Bradley as President.
Honorary Degree created
The College is granted the right to confer the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree.
Alumni Association raises funds
Among the accomplishments of a very active Alumni Association are the implementation of vocational guidance programs at area high schools, junior colleges, and colleges; significant contributions to the College Building fund; and scholarship aid.
Hyman Kamen's becomes dean
Ralph Green retires and Hyman R. Kamens selected as next Dean.
Federal grant received
The College receives its first federal grant to improve the academic program. Tuition is now $1,000.
College Affiliates with US Public Health Hospital
The College becomes the first optometry school to affiliate with a US Public Service Health Hospital. Three fourth-year students were assigned to the Eye Clinic of the Hospital on a rotating weekly basis, under faculty supervision.
Affiliation with Neighborhood Health Centers begins
The College begins its long-standing affiliations with Boston’s Neighborhood Health Centers.
William R. Baldwin becomes president
The College appoints William R. Baldwin as President. Among the milestones of Dr. Baldwin’s 10-year tenure is the acquisition of approximately $3 million in grants, the expansion of community service, the shift in curriculum to establish the optometrist’s role as primary eye care provider.
Beacon Street Buildings purchased.
The College purchases the Beacon Street Buildings, which become it’s new home.
Use of Diagnostic Pharmaceutical Agents
The College is the first to certify optometrists in the use of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents.
MCO Forms AOSA Chapter
MCO Student Council votes to become the 9th chapter of the AOSA - the American Optometric Student Association. Read more about the AOSA in this article by Ronald R. Ferrucci, OD '74, FAAO.
New England College of Optometry
The College’s name is changed to the New England College of Optometry to reflect its regional commitments.
Formal Clinical Affiliation with VA begins
The College establishes its formal clinical affiliation with the Veteran’s Administration (VA).
F. Dow Smith becomes President
F. Dow Smith becomes the next President and will serve until 1985. During this period the focus is on fiscal and long-range planning. The enrollment is around 300.
Sylvio L. Dupuis Becomes President
Sylvio L. Dupuis begins four years as the College's President, concentrating on the College’s internal structure and organization, fund raising, and endowment. Tuition for the four year program is $10,650 per year and enrollment is approximately 350 students.
Larry Clausen becomes President
Larry R. Clausen, named Dean of Academic Affairs in 1982 and later Acting President, is inaugurated as College’s President. Among his early focuses are greater participation by Trustees, development of income sources other than tuition, and wide-ranged planning for the 1990s.
Beacon Street renovated
Renovation of the facilities at Beacon Street begins
NECO signs agreement with Wenzhou
Board Chair Joseph Bickford and Dr. Clausen lead a delegation to China to establish faculty exchange and fellowship programs. An agreement is signed with Wenzhou Medical College in China.
International programs flourish
Additional international programs now exist in Italy, Spain, and South America. Tuition for the four-year program is now $17,460 a year and the enrollment is approximately 400.
The New England College of Optometry marks 100 years of growth with Centennial celebrations and expansive goals for the next century.
Myopia Research Center Opens
The College receives its first federal research grant and establishes the Myopia Research Center.
Dr. Kamen Honored for 50 Years
The College hosts a gala to honor Dr. Kamen’s fifty years of service.
College Receives Awards for Renovations
Following extensive renovations, the College is recognized with numerous local and national outstanding historic preservation awards.
Alan Lewis Becomes President
Dr. Alan Lewis becomes President of the College. During his tenure, College’s nationwide network of affiliated clinical sites grew to include over 50 clinics, hospitals, and specialized care facilities, including three sites in other countries.
NECO Hosts Myopia Conference
The College hosts the eighth International Conference on Myopia.
Clinic Moves to Commonwealth
New England Eye, the College’s clinic, moves to 930 Commonwealth Ave.
Elizabeth Chen becomes President
Elizabeth Chen is selected to become the College's first female President. Ms. Chen expanded the educational infrastructure with capability for synchronous distance learning, secured federal and private funding for research and electronic health records, and increased philanthropy to the school.
The College celebrates its 115th Anniversary.
Clifford Scott becomes NECO's 12th President
Clifford Scott, OD '68, MPH, is selected as the College's next President. President Scott strengthened local, national, and international partnerships, as well as pushing for strong advocacy of the profession, adapted to the changing field of health care, and embraced technology.
College Launches Mobile Eye Clinic
NECO and New England Eye launch the mobile eye clinic to improve access to vision care in underserved communities in Massachusetts.
College Hosts Profiles in Vision
The College hosts its first Profiles in Vision at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum highlighting NECO’s partnership with Community Health Centers.
Practice Management Software Gains Traction
Practice Management Simulation Software developed by NECO Professor Dr. David Mills sets a new standard in health care education. The simulation is part of the Business Management Course at NECO and used by other colleges of optometry.
New England Eye Changes Name
New England Eye is renamed the New England College of Optometry (NECO) Center for Eye Care to better align the clinic with the College. The name is used for both the Roslindale and Commonwealth locations.
Newly renovated clinic opens
The College renovates the clinic at 930 Commonwealth Avenue (NECO Center for Eye Care) and opens a beautiful new state-of-the-art street-level clinic and optical center at the Clinical Campus.
NECO Announces Partnership with ORBIS
The College announces a formal partnership with Orbis International, an international non-profit committed to the elimination of avoidable blindness through healthcare provider training.
Clinical Training Center Opens
NECO opens the Clinical Training Center at 940 Commonwealth Avenue, a state-of-the-art student training facility utilizing current technologies to best prepare students for practice.
Howard Purcell Becomes 13th President
New England College of Optometry welcomes Howard Purcell, OD '84, FAAO as president.
NECO Celebrates 125 years
New England College of Optometry celebrates its 125th anniversary since its beginning as the Klein School of Optics in 1894.