Neal J. Bailey Optometry Medal for Development

Dr. Neal J. Bailey (BS-Optom '47, PhD '54) was a truly outstanding clinician, educator, author, researcher, and entrepreneur who practiced in Columbus and taught at the college for more than two decades. In 1995, he and his beloved wife, Florence, established the Neal J. and Florence E. Bailey Scholarship in Optometry to provide scholarships for students who demonstrated leadership ability, a high degree of academic potential, scholastic achievement, and enthusiasm for learning. At that time, it was one of the largest endowments the college had ever received from an individual. So it was fitting that the Neal J. Bailey Optometry Medal for Development be established to recognize exceptionally philanthropic individuals who have donated a cumulative amount of $50,000 or more to The OSU College of Optometry.

2018 Bailey Medal Recipients

After receiving his PhD, Kevin began his career teaching here at the college before heading to Northwest Ohio to become the Director of the Eye Center of Toledo.  In 2000 he was appointed as the Dean at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University and then as Dean of the Southern California College of Optometry in 2008 where he currently serves as the founding President of Marshall B. Ketchum University, which includes SCCO. He is a past president of the American Optometric Association and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and was named to the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2012.

Carol’s career began in private practice in Sylvania, Ohio.  She was the first female president of the Ohio Optometric Association.  In 2008 she sold her practice and joined J&J Vision Care where she is currently the Director of Professional Communications.  She has traveled the country and testified on behalf of patient-centric contact lens laws.

Kevin and Carol established an endowed scholarship that will be awarded each year to a student who demonstrates outstanding leadership ability. 

Ed is in the tristate area living in Pennsylvania and working in West Virginia.  He has been the main contributor of the Larry Shaefer Scholarship. Honoring a classmate from the Class of 1981, this scholarship is given to a third year student who demonstrates outstanding clinical skills. Additionally, Ed named the Injections room in the Pre-clinic just last fall and has given to various optometry funds nearly each year since he graduated, supporting students for more than three decades. When discussing funding that room, he said that he thought funding the college was “just the right thing to do”.

Lonny practiced for many years in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania and In 2014, the Harrisons named a room in the pre-clinic. Their most recent gift was the final amount needed to endow a scholarship in memory of Lonny’s classmate, Dr. Terry Schultz, who passed away in 2014.  The Schultz family began this scholarship a few years ago that will award a student with leadership abilities and who excels in patient care. We hope to have the Schultzes here with the Harrisons next year to celebrate the first scholarship recipient.

Dr. Kirsch is a 1961 graduate.  He practiced in Hartsdale, NY before retiring and moving to West Palm Beach.  The Kirsches established a scholarship through their estate that will support future students for years to come. 

2017 Bailey Medal Recipients

Dr. Layman practices in Lambertville, Michigan. Most recently, Dr. Layman named a room in the pre-clinic, but has supported the college in various ways with a gift nearly every year since he graduated.  During the But for Ohio State campaign, Bob hosted a dinner in the Toledo area to help our efforts in reaching more alumni who enabled us to surpass our $10 million campaign goal. 

Dr. Myers practices in Canal Winchester, Ohio.  Although they have given to a number of college projects, in 2009 Jeff and Joyce established the Myers Lecture Series, annually bringing in notable expects in the field of optometry to provide a lecture to faculty, staff and students.  Additionally, Dr. Myers has been an extraordinary volunteer as the College’s Chair of the most recent campaign, as well as the Editor of the BuckEYE Optometry Alumni magazine. He also oversees the annual selection of the Distinguished Alumni award and the Early Professional Achievement award for the Optometry Alumni Society.

Dr. Thomas practices in Gallipolis, Ohio. He and his father built a practice there in town where Dr. Thomas still sees patients today. Dr. Thomas is also in a rare group of alumni who have made a gift just about every year since becoming an alumnus.  Shortly after graduation Dr. Thomas made a commitment to the college with a gift of an insurance policy that is still in place today.  In addition, through his giving he has supported college scholarships, facilities and special programs over the years.

Dr. Weisbarth has been with Alcon Laboratories, formerly Ciba Vision, for most of his optometric career and now lives in Mansfield, Texas.  In 2016 Dr. Weisbarth worked with Alcon to secure matching funds and made a commitment to support college faculty leadership with a new endowment.  Before that commitment, Dr. Weisbarth had supported a number of other college initiatives.  Additionally, he served on the college’s Campaign Committee, not only as an alumnus, but an invaluable corporate partner as well. 

Dr. Boyd lives in Fairborn, Ohio and is now retired.  Graduating 65 years ago, Dr. Boyd has seen the progression of optometric education at the university and carefully watched the decisions made by former college leadership.  Recently, he made a significant gift to support programmatic efforts in honor of Dean Zadnik’s leadership that has a special focus on reconnecting with our alumni.

We are fortunate to have the OOA office located in close proximity to the university, facilitating opportunities to be advocates of one another.  The OOA has been supporting the college since 1971, with their first $250 gift to our development fund.  Since then they have given generously to support our students in various ways, helped create an endowed scholarship, supported research and made a significant commitment when we Raised the Roof – just to name a few things.

2016 Bailey Medal Recipients

Dr. Dittoe practices in New Lexington, Ohio.  Most recently he named an exam room in the pre-clinic, but Dr. Dittoe has also generously given to our very valuable discretionary fund and supported Raise the Roof.  He made the decision to make this gift after seeing an article about the pre-clinic renovation and naming opportunities in the BuckEYE magazine.  Since then we are glad to have him and his wife Cynthia reengaged in the life of the college.

Dr. Leach lives and practices in Los Lunas, New Mexico.  He has been a generous donor over the years, giving to various funds at the college, including a large percentage to the college’s discretionary funds.  He is also very involved in his local chapter of the OSU Alumni Association, supporting a scholarship for students coming to Ohio State from New Mexico.

Dr. Levy lives and practices in Dayton, Ohio.  A number of years ago he purchased a life insurance policy with Ohio State as the beneficiary.  That policy was surrendered in recent years with much of the funding supporting the college’s discretionary fund.

has retired from Indiana as the Dean and he and his wife Andrya live in South Carolina.  They are grateful for the opportunities that an Ohio State education gave them. Even though their careers took them many places, they never forgot the education they received at Ohio State. After learning more about their giving options, they decided that a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) was the best fit for them and will create a scholarship when the gift is received.

Dr. Mutti has been a faculty member since 1998 and has always been a generous supporter of the college.  In 2015 he established the David R. Mutti Endowed Scholarship in his brother’s honor, which supports students who demonstrate potential to inspire others. 

Ms. Paros lives in Canfield and was married Dr. Charles Paros (BS’51), until his passing in 1996.  He practiced in Girard and Youngstown, Ohio for many years.  Ms. Paros began making gifts to the college in 1997 along with other family members in Dr. Paros’s memory.  She then continued to give each year, supporting both our discretionary funds as well as various community outreach programs.  Mr. Charles Paros, Jr. accepted the award on Ms. Paros’s behalf.

The Quinns live and practice in Athens, Ohio.  They have always considered the college in their philanthropic decisions - giving to the Raise the Roof fund, a scholarship in Rick Cornet’s name and a scholarship in Emeritus Dean Mel Shipp’s name. In December they made a commitment to endow their own scholarship supporting third and fourth year students who have financial need and demonstrate a history of volunteerism.

Dr. Runyan lives and practices in South Vienna, Ohio.  He attended a dinner a few years ago where the campaign was discussed and heard about the five top priorities..  Afterward, Dr. Runyan made a commitment that supports a fund in each of these priorities – scholarships, faculty, research, facilities and discretionary funding.  He is the only donor to have made the decision to support all of the top priorities.  Before that commitment was made, Dr. Runyan has been a lifelong supporter of the college, giving his first gift the year he graduated and then just about every year since.

Dr. Schuller lives in Chillicothe, Ohio and practiced at the VA, supervising many optometry students over the years.  He has supported the college for a number of years and in 2011 established the John F. Schuller Scholarship in his brother’s name.  This scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates academic merit; works with the developmentally disabled, especially visually impaired individuals; has a commitment to community service and a social conscience with preference given to students who also demonstrate leadership and excellent clinical skills.

Mr. Schultz lives in Powell, Ohio and is the CEO of IDX Corporation.  He has been supporting the college for nearly 10 years and recently made a significant gift benefiting our discretionary fund.

Dr. Westheimer is a graduate of Berkeley, but received his PhD at the college under Dr. Glenn Fry.  Dr. Westheimer came to campus in 2014 to receive the Fry Medal and gave a lecture.  He then decided to endow The Gerald Westheimer Lecture Fund to give a stipend to any lecturer who is coming to Columbus to receive the Fry Medal. 

Although Dr. Zadnik is a Berkeley grad, she grew up in Kent, Ohio and returned to work for the college in 1996.  Since returning to the Buckeye State, she has been an integral part of the college of optometry, of course now serving in the role of Dean for nearly two years.  In 2015 Dr. Zadnik endowed a new scholarship in her mother’s name – The Ellen M. Henry Scholarship, awarded to the student who demonstrates extraordinary achievements and potential.

The Wildermuth Foundation has been very generous to the college for a number of years.  They have contributed to scholarships, created a professorship and were the lead supporter of our Raise the Roof Campaign.

HOYA Vision Care has been a faithful supporter of the college for many years.  HOYA supports an annual scholarship that is awarded to the top student in the incoming class, they provide funding for our magazine, and in 2015 they made a significant gift to name our Eyewear Gallery.

JJJVCI has given to various funds and projects over the years supporting students, faculty and facility through gifts in kind.  Local corporate representative Tom Sarson joined us to accept the award.

Latham and Phillips supported the college for a number of years with gifts in kind of equipment used in our facility.  They also supported our Raise the Roof Campaign and discretionary funding. 

Marco gave to the college through gifts of equipment to supply our exam rooms for a number of years.  They also were early supports of our discretionary fund.

Reichert technologies is another company that supported us for nearly 10 years with gifts in kind of examination equipment.  We appreciate their contributions.

OEI was established in 1978 with Dr. Fred Hebbard as the first President and was formed so that CE could be administered by an organization that was separate from Ohio State.  A few years later, they began donating their proceeds back to the University for a number of different projects such as Raise the Roof, The Greg Good Scholarship, The Mel Shipp Scholarship, discretionary funding and recently OEI committed to a new project naming the Binocular Vision and Pediatrics Consult Room in the newly renovated BVPeds and Low Vision Clinic on the first floor of Fry Hall.  Dr. Michael Early and Dr. Greg Good (OD’75, MS’79, PhD’81) accepted the award for OEI.

VSP has partnered with the college for a number of years being the sole sponsor of our Improving Diversity through Optometric Careers (IDOC) program.  This program has seen recent success with a record number of undergrad students applying and IDOC graduates going on to apply, be accepted, excel in the classroom and graduate from optometry schools and colleges across the nation.  In 2015 we again partnered with VSP to establish an endowment supporting new and creative project ideas involving the college’s faculty and students.  Ms. Barbara Knapp accepted on VSP’s behalf.

2014 Bailey Medal Recipients

Alcon has been supporting the college for nearly 25 years with many different areas of interest.  Most recently through their ‘Partners in Education’ gift provides for our preceptor conference, student support and faculty development.  Rick Weisbarth (OD’80) attended the event and accepted the award on Alcon’s behalf.

John and Cheryl were able to make an impact in two important areas of the college, scholarship and facility.  They created a new endowed scholarship providing one need-based scholarship for an incoming student from the state of Ohio. That will be awarded in the coming year.  The Archers also have named the student lounge in the newly renovated Pre-clinic, where many of our students study and relax.

Dr. Baillie began making gifts to the college in 1958 and has given nearly every year since.  His giving is particularly unique because he made many gifts to a number of optometry funds throughout the years, never choosing just one to support.  Dr. Baillie is the third alumnus from the class of 1951 to be recognized with a Bailey Medal.  The others are Jim Garstick (BS’51) and Ralph Miller (BS’51).  We’d like to know what took place in that class to inspire such a wonderful philanthropic spirit.

Dr. Barr taught for many years at the college and then moved on to Bausch and Lomb.  We will happy to have him back at the college this fall. In the past couple of years Dr. Barr has recently been awarded both the College’s distinguished alumni award and the University’s prestigious Mershon award for exceptional leadership and service to Ohio State.  In 2013 he partnered with Mary Jo Stiegemeier (OD’83) to create The Dr. Joe Barr and Dr. Mary Jo Stiegemeier Endowed Fund for the Advancement of Cornea and Contact Lens Education in the College of Optometry, supporting the research of one graduate student in the College of Optometry who demonstrates specific interest in enhancing his or her cornea or contact lens education and knowledge.

Dr. Billman has been giving back to the college for a number of years, making a significant commitment to the raise the roof campaign, and then going onto establish an endowed scholarship.  The Richard and Mary Billman scholarship provides one scholarship to a student who demonstrates financial need and academic promise.  It will provide an award for this first time this coming academic year.

Emeritus Dean Richard Hill has been making gifts to the college for 49 yearsIn 2013 he established a new fund to provide an annual lecture series in vision science and research.  Plans are underway to hold the inaugural lecture in spring of 2015.

Last fall, Tim and Barb made a commitment to name the new classroom in the renovated pre-clinic for Emeritus Dean, Fred Hebbard.  At the grand opening of the space, they had the opportunity to celebrate with Dr. Hebbard as the gift was announced.  This act of generosity and recognition has allowed the college to reconnect with Dr. Hebbard and we owe our gratitude to Tim and Barb.

OAF began in 1994 as an organization to bring about a closer fellowship between graduates, students, faculty and friends of the College of Optometry; to promote relations between the college and the Alumni Association; to provide a forum for members to voice their feelings relative to matters at the College of Optometry; and to promote the advancement of The Ohio State University.  President, Roger Saneholtz (OD’74) was not able to attend the celebration and OAF board member Dr. Bob Newcomb (OD’71) accepted the award on the organization’s behalf.

This group was formed when VSP became national and moved their headquarters to California.  A few doctors, who also happened to be our alumni, had the ability to make many significant gifts to the college with the funding that remained.  We want to thank David Dreffer (OD’68), Terry Daniel (OD’70) and Jim Kuhlman (BS’64) for making the college a priority.  The most significant gift they provided was the creation of the VSP Chair for the Advancement of Professional Practice.  The inaugural holder of this chair was Dr. Bob Newcomb (OD’71) and upon his retirement the Chair has been awarded to Dr. Mike Earley (OD/MS’88, PhD’92).  Dr. Dreffer was in attendance to accept the medal on their behalf.

2013 Bailey Medal Recipients

James R. Garstick (BS-Optom '51) and his wife, Vylee, gave appreciated stock to establish an endowed scholarship fund in 1995 for third- and fourth-year optometry students with financial needs. His work ethic and very strong commitment to optometric continuing education set an example for future students to emulate. It is with the same thought that he made this scholarship gift to the college. Dr. Garstick commented that he wanted to set an example for his classmates. It must have worked because two classmates of his followed suit – Drs. Ralph Miller and Forrest Baillie.

The Garsticks received their Bailey Medal in 2013 from Dean Mel Shipp, Development Officer Rachel Childress, and Capital Campaign Chair Jeffrey Myers (OD ’84) in Akron. Dr. Garstick began practicing in Columbiana, Ohio in 1954 after a few short years in other locations. Having grown up in Warren, just 30 miles north, he knew that Columbiana would be a great place to raise a family and settle for the remainder of his optometric career. In these 60 years, Dr. Garstick has become well known in his community and continues to set an example by being an involved citizen, participating in city council, being a member of the local Ohio State alumni club and supporting other area events.

Ralph M. Miller (BS-Optom '51) and his wife, Annabel, established an Endowed Scholarship Fund, using appreciated stock, to help young optometry students stay in school and help to lower the level of student indebtedness during their optometric education. When they established their Fund in 2000, Dr. Miller said: "I was able to go to college with help from the GI bill. Otherwise, I may not have made it through. So I'm glad to help some students lighten their debt after graduation…."

In 2013 the Millers received their Bailey Medal from Dean Mel Shipp in their home in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Dr. Miller became an optometrist after looking at dentistry and medicine and deciding those weren't for him. The local optometrist in Millersburg told him that it was "a good life" and that's all Dr. Miller needed to hear. After school, he returned to his roots and feels that his success was in large part because he could speak Pennsylvania Dutch, making him a friend of the local, large Amish population. In retirement, the Millers moved to Colorado for a number of years, enjoying the beauty of the mountains. Recently, they returned to Walnut Creek and live only a few steps away from where Dr. Miller was born and raised.

Barbara Fink (OD, MS ’85, PhD ’87) did her undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame, and then earned her OD degree from Indiana University in 1981. She earned her MS and PhD degrees from OSU under the mentorship of Dean Emeritus, Richard M. Hill, in 1985 and 1987, respectively. Over the past 25 years, she has taught in most of the courses and clinics at the college; and has also mentored 16 graduate students. She has chaired the college’s Diversity Enhancement Committee since 1987. She currently has a 50% appointment in OSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, where she is committed to the recruitment and retention of under-represented students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees. She hopes that many of these promising students will ultimately choose optometry as their career.

Although most of our Bailey Medalists have established endowed funds, Dr. Fink has been giving to various funds at the college for 26 years through the annual Campus Campaign, which is the faculty and staff giving program at Ohio State. Through her payroll deduction over time, Dr. Fink has made a considerable impact in scholarship funds, minority support, research dollars and discretionary funding.

During a lunch at the OSU faculty club in 2013 with Dean Mel Shipp, Dr. Fink received her Bailey Medal and said how pleased and surprised she was that she had been able to reach this impressive milestone.

Robert D. Newcomb (OD '71, MPH) spent 26 years in federal service optometry (US Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs) before accepting a faculty position as a Professor of Clinical Optometry and the inaugural Vision Service Plan (VSP) Chair for the Advancement of Professional Practice – a position he held for 15 years prior to his retirement in 2012. He received his Bailey Medal from Dean Mel Shipp in 2013 at the OSU Reception held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry in Seattle. The Robert D. Newcomb White Coat Fund will provide financial resources to make the college's annual White Coat Ceremony special and memorable for the Opt I students and their families. Through his gift, the college's annual White Coat ceremony will continue to be a highlight in the academic year, similar to the Welcome Dinner for first-year students in August and the always impressive Convocation ceremony for graduates in May.

Upon receiving his award at the college's alumni reception during the Academy meeting, Dr. Newcomb told his colleagues and friends at the event that Dr. Bailey was one of his favorite professors because he was both knowledgeable and humorous. His generosity to the college was something to emulate. Dr. Newcomb also said when he was a cub scout, his pack leader told the campers to "always leave their campsites in better condition than when they found them." Dr. Bailey left the college in better condition than he found it - and Dr. Newcomb is doing the same - hoping that others will adopt their giving philosophy to make the college even better for future generations of optometrists.

2007 Bailey Medal Recipients

In 2002 Wayne Collier made a commitment to the college during the Raise the Roof campaign. He chose to name the conference room in the new facility for his classmate and then-Dean John Schoessler. Dr. Collier received his medal Bailey medal in 2007 on the day of the dedication of the new Fry Hall tower. Today that conference room is used daily by various groups throughout the college.

In 2005 Bob Wright made a Raise the Roof commitment to name one of the new lobbies in the Fry Hall tower. Since that time Dr. Wright has been and important philanthropic partner here at Ohio State, providing more than $1 million to college priorities. Dr. Wright received his Bailey medal in 2007 following the dedication of the new facility.