President's Message

Message from the President of the Optometry Alumni Society
Chris Smiley


Much effort is put into recruiting not only the very best optometry students, but also our profession’s future leaders. We have branded this effort, “The Buckeye Advantage.”  

The Buckeye Advantage: Board Passage Rates
Ohio State Optometry consistently has one of the highest first-time NBEO passage rates. Notably, the Class of 2023 yielded a 92% pass rate on NBEO part 1 versus the national average of 65% in March 2022.

The Buckeye Advantage: Curriculum
Our current curriculum provides students with didactic preparation, an opportunity to hone their critical skills, and abundant patient care encounters (even during their first year). Throughout their optometric education, students are exposed to every subspecialty, as well as a comprehensive series of practice management courses. By the time they graduate, our students experience nearly 2,000 patient encounters. This curriculum is designed and delivered by world-class faculty, many of who not only have a passion for teaching, but also are experts in their respective fields of study.  

The Buckeye Advantage: Leadership Development
Students participate in an I-CE (pronounced I-See) leadership program developed in collaboration with faculty and alumni. We aren’t only developing doctors of optometry, but also future leaders in our communities, practice leaders, industry leaders, future state association presidents, and future optometry faculty. This leadership journey is individualized starting as soon as a student is admitted and carried forth to where each of you is today.

The Buckeye Advantage: Alumni Support
Our alumni are the backbone of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Each of you makes an impact with your time, talent, and treasure. Most of you have students shadow in your practice and write letters of recommendation. Alumni participate as preceptors in fourth-year extern programs and host students for summer jobs. Alumni often speak at student engagement opportunities sharing words of wisdom and inspiring confidence in the future.    

Many alumni have supported fundraising efforts such as the building fund or scholarships that put us on the forefront to attract the best optometry students. Most of our alumni continuously renew annual sustaining alumni memberships with vigor by supporting a variety of funds. For those who may have overlooked this, I would encourage you activate your sustaining alumni membership now and renew annually. Each membership contribution to the college, no matter the size, keeps our Buckeye Advantage strong.

The future of optometry is bright, thanks to you and the Buckeye Advantage we create, nurture, and develop. I am proud to be part of The Ohio State University College of Optometry network of alumni.

Chris Smiley (OD’01)
President, The Ohio State University College of Optometry Alumni Society