|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
Until 1951, Indiana had no optometry school. That changed when Indiana Governor Henry F. Schricker signed a bill authorizing a school of Optometry for Indiana University on March 5, 1951.
Discussions and Denial
Optometrists began discussing the need for a school of optometry in the late 1930's. The Indiana State Board of Optometry joined the effort and by 1944, they met with Indiana University President Herman B Wells to discuss the concept. He requested that the Indiana State Board of Optometry organize a committee to explore a school at IU. Indiana State Board of Optometry President Edgar Cain garnered support from Indiana optometrists and petitioned the Indiana University Board of Trustees to approve a school. The Indiana University Medical School opposed the idea and the Trustees denied the request.
The Indiana General Assembly Steps In
The Indiana State Board of Optometry next approached the Indiana General Assembly. The Assembly approved the bill on March 1, 1951. By autumn 1951, the school began two-year pre-optometry classes and three years of professional optometry courses. The first group of classes graduated in 1956.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning