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President’s Memo, July 23, 2018

Dear NECO Community,

When I graduated from New England College of Optometry in 1984, I never could have imagined that I would be returning in 2018 as the President. I am honored to follow President Scott who has given tirelessly to the College for so many years. His contributions have strengthened our beloved institution and positioned us well for the future.

When I walk through the doors of NECO each day, I feel pride, possibility, and responsibility. We have the opportunity to take advantage of our strengths and build on the energy and enthusiasm that all of you bring. I look forward to seeing what we can do together as we continue to position NECO as the leading College of Optometry in the world. 

I have always had a deep appreciation and connection to NECO.  As many of you know, I am a second generation graduate of the college. I’ve been actively engaged with NECO since graduation, serving on the Alumni Board, the Board of Trustees and assisting with student recruitment. I value the education I received and the friendships I made while at NECO. Many of those friendships are stronger than ever today. 

Calling NECO a “family” is as true today as it was when I was a student. Our community is at the core of what makes NECO such a wonderful place. Together, each in our own way, we contribute to helping students succeed. Everything we do feeds into this process, including educational excellence, diverse clinical experiences, scholarly activities, comprehensive student resources, strong alumni networks, community service, and innovation. All of this in support of our mission: Changing the way people see the world. 

I look forward to getting to know each member of our dedicated faculty, administration, and staff, as well as our amazing students over the coming months and hearing more about your vision for our future. I also look forward to hearing from our alumni about how your time at NECO has impacted your career. My most important job right now is to listen and learn. I appreciate your candid feedback and patience for my seemingly never ending questions.

I’m committed to creating an environment rooted in clear, two-way communication. For me, this means having various platforms for us to communicate with one another. Stay tuned…

There is no other place I would rather be right now. Thank you for the privilege of joining you on this journey. I want all of you to feel free to reach out to me with comments and questions, and I’ll do the same with you. Please feel free to stop by, email, say hello, and introduce yourself. I look forward to celebrating many great successes over the coming years with all of you. 

Thank you for welcoming me and making me feel like I really have come back home.

All my best……

President Purcell
Dr. Howard Purcell was named the College’s 13th president in July of 2018. Prior to his appointment as President, Dr. Purcell served as the Senior Vice President, Customer Development for Essilor of America for ten years, Senior Director of Professional Affairs for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care for 13 years, and Deputy Dean of Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry. He also worked in private practice for eleven years.

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