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NECO Stories

Our history is filled with rich stories about success, challenges, and change. Growing as the optometry profession itself has grown, the College has moved many times during the first 125 years. With each new address, it has met new demands and greeted new opportunities. Today, the renovated home on Beacon Street reflects our work honoring our past and embracing our future. Regardless of the location, the people who have been a part of our College have strengthened our community.

Capturing Our History

Stories are an integral part of our history.  Throughout the past 125 years, there are so many serious, funny, sad, generous, and moving stories the capture the NECO spirit.  Throughout the year we'll be sharing stories of our past, as well as those of our community today. Please take some time to share your thoughts to become a piece of our living history.

Stories of our Past

Historical photo showing man at desk and two women looking at optometry equipment. Sign on window is backwards and says August Klein Optometrist.
Patient Stories

In a 1979 interview with William R. Baldwin, the College's President, Dr. Theodore Sargent (entering class of 1922) shared memories of patients' understanding of the profession in those early years as limited at best.  He tells the story of one woman who arrived with needle and thread in hand. “She just wanted to see well enough to thread her needle. That was all.”  Another woman came in for glasses one day. She came back the next and said, 'These glasses aren't any good. I can't read!' We took her in again and, after endless questions, discovered that she didn't know how to read. She thought that if she put on glasses, she'd automatically be able to read!”

A Spirit of Generosity

There are many stories of President Theodore Klein's generosity. Charlotte Klein Huntington, daughter of President Theodore Klein and granddaughter of August Klein, remembers an example of her father's generous spirit in the early 1930s.

“When Franklin Roosevelt closed the banks, he loaned food money to faculty families,” she recalls. “Many would have gone hungry for a few days had he not done that.”

Champion Optometrists

Dr. Thomas Greenberg played on the 1960 championship MCO basketball team. Clinched only in the final minutes of the playoff game, the championship was a thrill for the entire College. “Starting its season with two heart-breaking losses, the MCO basketball squad, under the able coaching of Mitchell Kuhn, came on to win 12 of its next 14 games,” reported Scope. “The play-off championship was won [by a score of 67-59] against the Massachusetts College of Art on Wednesday, March 16 at the Boston Garden. The game was played as the preliminary contest to the Boston-Celtics-Philadelphia Warriors professional play-off game.

2019 Monthly Stories

Throughout 2019, we're sending out monthly emails and social media prompts to help capture the memories and quotes that tell the story of our community.

January Stories

What is your strongest memory of your time at NECO? 
  • My classmates! - President Purcell
  • My first vision screening with 3 year olds. - David Le, Class of 2022
  • We met and got married at NECO! - Rich Dahill & Tina Sanford, Staff
  • Light InSight - Thanasis Panorgias, Faculty
  • See more stories in the slideshow below!

It's not too late to share your January story. You can submit them throughout 2019.

 Submit January Story

February Stories

Who at NECO has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

We look forward to hearing about the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other individuals who had an impact on your life either during your time or after you graduated.  Please submit your story today!



 Submit February Story