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InfantSEE Dinner with Tom Sullivan a Success!

Francesca Sefton stands smiling beside speaker Tom Sullivan.

Faculty, students, and alumni enjoy a night at the Colonnade with Dr. Glen Steele from InfantSee and entertainer Tom Sullivan

On Wednesday, October 29th, students, alumni and faculty at NECO enjoyed an evening of entertainment and inspiration at the InfantSEE program at the Colonnade Hotel. The evening was generously sponsored by the Allergan Foundation.

The evening began with a dinner reception where students, alumni, and faculty were able to mingle and share stories. Directly following, Dr. Glen Steele, professor at the Southern College of Optometry in Pediatric Services, and current chair of the American Optometric Association’s InfantSEE Committee. InfantSEE is a public health program for infants that is managed by Optometry Cares - the AOA Foundation. This program aims to help provide comprehensive eye assessments for infants between 6 and 12 months at no cost. Mr. Steele discussed the importance of the InfantSEE program and shared stories about four children, now healthy due to early treatment and diagnosis. For more information about InfantSEE, visit

The evening was capped off by a motivational and inspirational performance by Tom Sullivan. Tom Sullivan is a successful author, producer, singer, actor, athlete, and inspirational speaker who became blind in infancy. Tom grew up in Boston and was a patient at the Perkins Institute in Waltham, one of NECO’s rotation sites. Tom noted that he once met Helen Keller at Perkins on the occasion of her 80th birthday!

From the moment he began speaking, Mr. Sullivan immediately connected with his audience. He alternated between humor and passion, and used personal anecdotes to make his points. For more information about Tom Sullivan, visit

Student Alexa Fox explained, “Never have I ever come across a more inspirational & moving man, in all aspects of life. His speech was both poignant and motivational. I felt that this night single-handedly helped to solidify my decision of becoming an optometrist. I truly felt that while sitting in that audience, that I am pursuing the career that I was meant to.”

Student Francesca Sefton noted, “What an absolutely amazing and wonderful man!”

NECO students share some photos and impressions of the evening:

Student Aimee Mesenberg noted, “I had the special honor of meeting Tom Sullivan tonight – blind since birth and without a doubt one of the most amazing humans I’ve ever been blessed to meet. ‘Never comprise your best.’”

“My roommates and I really loved the presentation last night, we were pleasantly surprised at how interactive and theatrical Mr. Sullivan was.” Hannah Edward

ally group

ally group
“Thankful for an incredibly inspiring evening with Tom Sullivan and InfantSEE.”
-Ally Sexton