A Chance To Relive Late Nights and the Making of Lifelong Friendships.
Reunion ambassadors Paul Westfall, Cheryl G. Murphy and Justin Bazan are laying the groundwork for a fantastic time.
NEW YORK, October 3, 2019 — For anyone embarking on a new career, time can feel like it is moving at breakneck speed. And so it may be a shock for members of the class of 2004 to realize that it has been 15 years (that’s 1-5) since they graduated from the SUNY College of Optometry. But in the last decade-and-a-half, one thing has not changed: their remarkable journey together as a class. Which is why Justin Bazan, OD, who is now an optometrist at Brooklyn’s Park Slope Eye Care, can’t wait for one activity sure to happen at the upcoming reunion: reminiscing. “I look forward to all the stories. You know, the “remember that time when…,” he says.
One memory that Cheryl G. Murphy, OD, has is that the program was possible because it was a group activity. “My classmates made the experience complete. From study groups to socializing to clinic rounds together, they helped me learn as much as the professors and I truly believe many of us—if not all of us in the class of 2004—have become lifelong friends,” says Murphy, who is both a practicing optometrist and a freelance science writer.
Bazan agrees that the camaraderie made all of the difference. He says, “[My classmates] helped me pull all nighters! If I’d had to do that alone, I would have been distracted—or asleep.”
But time at the College was about more than studying and staying awake. It was also about learning the skills and gaining the confidence to tackle the dynamic, growing world of optometry. “The overall healthcare field is changing at a lightning pace,” says Paul Westfall, an optometrist in Glens Falls, New York. “Optometrists and optometry students need to be at the forefront of changes in policy as well as standard of care practices. I think we all need to be adaptable to changes that are coming one way or the other.”
The chance to see the classmates who Westfall thinks of as “bright, hardworking people [who] kept me motivated” is one reason he is going to the reunion. But there is another, which he hopes inspires others to also put the event on their calendars. Says Westfall, “Share smiles with the people who have been with you in your career since the very start!”