History of Petry-Lomb
History of Petry-Lomb
The roots of the Petry Lomb Education Fund began in the 1950s. The Rochester Optometric Society, formerly known as the Tri-City Optometric Society, hosted the 1953 American Optometric Association convention in Rochester, NY. Due to good fiscal planning by the local optometrists, a small profit was realized at the end of the convention. This money was deposited into a local bank for future use. At the same time the Ladies Auxillary, which was affiliated with the local optometric society, was raising money through bake sales, arts and crafts, raffles, etc. When the Ladies Auxilliary dissolved in the 1960s their remaining treasury was combined with the savings from the AOA convention, and the Petry Lomb Fund was born.
None of this would have been possible without the foresight of Dr. Albert Shapiro. Dr. Shapiro adamantly believed that the moneys sole purpose was to assist optometry students. However, if the fund was going to succeed additional money had to be raised. The Rochester Optometric Society and the Petry Lomb Committee (consisting of 4 or 5 volunteers and the ROS president) made a concerted effort to solicit donations. In addition to an annual fund drive, pledges were received on behalf of deceased loved ones, through manufacturer donations, and from the glass jar campaign. With the help of Winchester Optical, glass jars were purchased and placed on the fitting tables of all optometrists. When patients presented for free spectacle adjustments they were encouraged to make a small donation to Petry Lomb. Although the glass jar campaign no longer exists the tradition of an annual fund drive continues. The current fund drive solicits contributions from optical wholesalers, contact lens manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies as well as local optometrists.
Many individuals were responsible for the early success of Petry Lomb, they included the local optometrists: Anthony Iati, William Maier, Norman Howard Gus Strebel, George Benedict, Carl Bausch, Glenn Faroo, Clarence Rodgers, Ernest Petry, Melbourne Porter, Ira Whiteman, Milton Manning, Murray Blanchard, Milton Goodman, Harold East, Charles Parenteau, Drew Rohrer, Arthur True, Harry Vogel and Albert Ward, and the ROS presidents (Marvin Shulman, Gerald Harris, Edward Holtzmann, Larry Bleichfeld, John Guthrie, Gustave Strebel, Frederick Rabson, David Francisco, David Jordan and Robert Boone). The Ladies Auxillary was also instrumental in organizing the Petry Lomb Scholarship Fund, those members included Dorothy Francisco, Suzanne Jordan, Rachael Cogan, Betty Boone, Frances Blanchard, Helen Maier, Joan Shulman, Ellie Holtzman, Adelaide Strebel, Pat Guthrie, Joanne Iati and others. Lastly, the Fund supporters included the Optical Supply Houses and Manufacturers such as Advance Optical, Artcraft Optical, Bausch & Lomb, Coopervision, Empire Optical, Ontario Optical, Rochester Optical Company, UCO Gordon Contact Lens, Weldco, Whelpley & Paul, and Winchester Optical.
In the past 10 years alone, Petry Lomb has awarded over $40,000 to 18
students from 6 colleges of optometry. The work of the Petry Lomb
Committee continues today through the current committee, which includes: Dr.
Stephanie Su (Chairperson), Dr. Michele Lagana (previous ROS President), Dr. Robert Ryan (previous ROS President), and Dr. Katelyn Vilasi.
How did the Petry Lomb Fund get its name?
It is believed that the name Petry Lomb was chosen to honor two local men who played key roles in advancing optometry, Carl F. Lomb and Ernest Petry. Carl F. Lomb was an emigrant from Germany, who came to New York City in 1873. The following year he became a member of the Bausch & Lomb New York office staff and eventually rose to the position of Secretary of the company and later to that of Vice President.
Mr. Lombs life was crowded with business and philanthropic activity. In addition to his association with Bausch & Lomb, he served as Vice President of Yawman & Erbe Manufacturing company and as Director of the Security Trust Company of Rochester and of the Rochester Telephone Corporation. Widely interested in education and in providing opportunities for students, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, now the Rochester Institute of Technology; he became its President in 1916 and later Chairman of the Board. In January, 1936, he was one of eight distinguished educators in western New York chosen by The Society of the Genesee to be honored at its 37th annual dinner. Throughout his career, Mr. Lomb contributed generously to worthy causes, was energetically interested in civic affairs and good citizenship, and was a strong educational, civic, and business leader. The help he provided the Rochester School of Optometry is a bright chapter in the school's history.
It is impossible to think of the Rochester School of Optometry without first thinking of Ernest Petry, a graduate in 1910 and from then until 1928, Dean of the school. From 1926 to 1936 he served as Lecturer in Optometry at the Institute of Applied Optics, University of Rochester. During most of his years as an educator he devoted a share of his time to private practice. He joined the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company as Director of Ophthalmic Education in 1936 and then retired in 1946.
For six years Dean Petry served as a member of the New York State Board of Examiners in Optometry. He was founder and original chairman of the Monroe County Optometric Society and of the Tri-City Optometric Society, having served as president of the first of these organizations. He is past president of the International Association of Optometry Schools, a life member of the Rochester Optometric Society and the New York State Optometric Association, and a member of the American Academy of Optomtery and of the American Optometric Association. In all the professional organizations to which he belonged, Dean Petry had been active on important committees and was known from coast to coast for his efforts in advancing the educational and professional status of optomtery. His contributions to optometry have rarely been equalled.
PETRY-LOMB SCHOLARSHIP/RESEARCH GRANT
The Petry-Lomb Education Committee, which is affiliated with the Rochester (New York) Optometric Society, has established the Petry-Lomb Scholarship/Research Grant for deserving optometry students or graduate students who are interested in returning to upstate New York after they complete their education.
It is an annual scholarship, which shall be awarded to an optometry student or graduate student in an accredited college of optometry who meets the following criteria:
1. Financial need as determined by application and interview.
2. A second, third or fourth year student in good standing in an accredited College of Optometry.
3. A sincere desire to practice Optometry in upstate New York after graduation.
Preference given to areas served by the Rochester Optometric Society (counties of Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Genesee, and Ontario)
The Committee may award more than one scholarship grant per year.
A student or graduate student may receive the award more than once during his/her professional schooling, but must reapply each year.
Award moneys are sent directly to the school to apply towards tuition or a specific clinical research project.
Semifinalists will be required to travel to Rochester for an interview at their own expense. The exact date is at the discretion of the committee; however, the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving has been chosen in the past. A transcript and further financial information may also be required.
Applications for this scholarship are available at each accredited college of optometry, on the website (www.rocheyedocs.org), or through the Petry Lomb Education Committee Chairperson, Petry-Lomb Committee . Applications must be submitted to The Petry-Lomb Committee between September 1st and October 15th each year. Petry-Lomb scholarship winners will be notified by December 31st of that year.
Petry-Lomb Scholarship / Research Grant Application