The OCNY was founded in 1956 by a small group of dedicated optometrists and benefactors as a nonprofit health and professional education resource for the community. This pioneering effort supported and directed the establishment of a vision-care clinic, which in 1971, became the patient care centerpiece for the new SUNY College of Optometry.
In 1983, the foundation’s Board of Trustees recognized the need for enhanced scientific research into the human visual system and moved to fund the establishment of a research institute at the College. One year later, thanks to a generous gift of $1.5 million from Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Schnurmacher, longtime benefactors, the institute was renamed the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research.
The Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) Board of Trustees consists of 6-24 members who represent a variety of constituents including optometrists, industry professionals, patients, alumni, and our greater community. The primary role of OCNY is to support the work and programs at SUNY College of Optometry as the affiliated foundation for the school.
President: Dr. Richard Soden
Vice President: Mr. Thomas Farrell
Treasurer: Mr. Dennis Gehr
Secretary & Executive Director: Ms. Dawn Rigney
Member-at-Large: Ms. Marjorie Axelrad
Governance and Nominations Program
Professional Advisors Committee (PAC)
Role of the Board
The OCNY Board of Trustees lead the charge in fundraising and growing visibility for SUNY College of Optometry and the University Eye Center. All the funds raised are used to support programs and initiatives within the College such as scholarships for students, charitable patient care, capital and technological improvements, research, and student programming.