The Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton has recently changed their name to Marshall B. Ketchum University, after their founder who was both a pharmacist and a medical doctor and a passionate advocate for Optometry.  His innovative approach to inter-professional healthcare education captures the spirit of OC’s newest healthcare University.

“Our new University name reflects Dr. Ketchum’s great legacy and expands our position to respond to the nation’s healthcare needs,” said University Founding President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D.



An outgrowth and expansion of the educational offerings of the 109-year-old Southern California College of Optometry, the University will provide a diversity of healthcare training opportunities in an environment focused on interprofessional education. The first program to be added is the School of Physician Assistant Studies, which is anticipated to open in 2014 and is currently accepting student applications.

“Marshall B. Ketchum University will continue the great healthcare heritage established by the Southern California College of Optometry,” noted Dr. Alexander.

For their philanthropic impact and humanitarian support of optometry, Marshall B. Ketchum University will honor community leaders at the third annual Shared Visions Gala & V–Awards, Thursday, September 19, 2013, at a 4:30 p.m. VIP Reception and a 5:30 p.m. Gala Dinner catered by the Anaheim White House at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. PBS SoCal producer, reporter and host Maria Hall-Brown will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.


Awards will include:

  • Corporate V–Award – Allergan, Inc. of Irvine,
    to be accepted by Allergan Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer David E.I. Pyott  
  • Founder’s V–Award — Marshall B. Ketchum, M.D.,
    to be accepted by the Ketchum family
  • Shared Visions Artist Award — Susan Joy Gustafson of Vancouver, WA

The Shared Visions Gala & V–Awards is the signature fundraising event for Marshall B. Ketchum University. Proceeds from the event go toward supporting vision readiness for all children in Orange County. In 2012, the Gala raised more than $200,000 and hosted 300 attendees in support of the creation of the mobile vision van known as “Eye Force One,” bringing vision services to those in need who cannot travel to a clinic.

According to the World Health Organization, over 19 million children are affected by vision impairment and 80% of vision problems can be corrected, prevented or cured. To address children’s vision in Orange County, MBKU provided optometry services in the community to more than 4,000 children in 2012, in collaboration with many local school districts, Special Olympics, Care Harbor, Boys and Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, Buena Park Community Clinic, Blind Children’s Learning Center, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Caduceus Medical Group of Yorba Linda, and Illumination Foundation to name a few.

“Our third annual Shared Visions Gala & V–Awards is particularly exciting because of our new university name and our transition into an interprofessional healthcare institution,” says Marshall B. Ketchum University President Kevin Alexander, O.D., Ph.D.

Tickets may be purchased at http://www.ketchum.edu/sharedvisions/.


Allergan, Inc., Irvine

*Multi-specialty health care company committed to addressing unmet medical and community needs to help people reach their life’s potential

David_Pyott-High_Res.jpgAllergan has been a major contributor to Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU) since 1990. Much of Allergan’s support for MBKU focuses on research funding for the improvement of eye care and eye treatment, including a 2009 grant to study the impact of dry eye on quality of life related to reading performance. From its beginnings as an eye care company, Allergan continues to support the development of the optometry profession. For example, Allergan’s OPTOMETRY JUMPSTART® program offers access to educational resources, savings programs, and product information to students enrolled in U.S. optometry schools and recent optometry graduates.

The Allergan Foundation, created in 1998, has also been a supporter of the charitable efforts of MBKU. Beyond MBKU, The Allergan Foundation has granted more than $43 million to support the arts, civic programs, education, and health and human services, including the American Optometric Association’s InfantSEE® program, which is designed to provide no-cost comprehensive vision assessments to infants regardless of household income or insurance availability. The Allergan Foundation partnered with InfantSEE® to support the program’s mission to educate the American public on vision health beginning at infancy, and also aims to further educate optometry students on how to properly perform infant vision exams and to inspire graduates to include infant vision as a core patient care service in their future practices.


Marshall B. Ketchum, M.D.

*Pioneer in optometry and founder of the third-oldest college of optometry in the US

mbk200Dr. Ketchum stood for the highest possible quality of education and felt a deep responsibility to the patient’s visual welfare and to the community, which was the philosophy from which the institution began. In 1904, Marshall B. Ketchum, M.D. founded and was the first president and teacher of the forerunner of Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU), then named the Los Angeles School of Ophthalmology and Optometry. MBKU is currently home to Southern California College of Optometry and the developing School of Physician Assistant Studies in Orange County, CA. Through Dr. Ketchum’s leadership, several schools merged into the college, which became a nonprofit in 1938.

Originally from Canada, Dr. Ketchum, a pharmacist, came to the US as a young man, to study and later teach medicine, and arrived in Los Angeles at a time when a distinct profession of optometry was just beginning to develop, both educationally and organizationally. He promoted the early use of the retinoscope, an optical instrument for examining refraction of light in the eye, and his advocacy of its superiority as a means for the determination of the refractive status of the eye identified Dr. Ketchum as an early leader in the eye care world.

Today, retinoscopy is still an important component in determining one’s prescription, especially in children and patients with cataracts. In 1920, he authored Ketchum’s Lessons on the Eye, a book he dedicates to a future where “…the word ‘optometrist’ may be honored by all other professions.” Shortly after his death in 1937, the Marshall B. Ketchum, M.D. Memorial Library was established on the MBKU campus, which houses one of the most complete visual science libraries in the nation. In 2004, Dr. Ketchum was honored as a MBKU Centennial Honoree.


Susan Joy Gustafson, Vancouver, WA

*Compelled to paint vivid floral and tropical scenes from her mind’s eye after being diagnosed with a progressive rare eye condition

mbku.Susan Gustafson Though Susan Joy Gustafson has a progressive degenerative genetic eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, she is an award-winning watercolor artist. Her severe vision impairment inspired Gustafson’s work as a painter, saying “Losing my sight compels me to relish beauty, look intently and imprint the spirit of the object in my mind’s eye.” Her interpretations, many of which are floral and tropical subjects, enhance and bring scenes she paints to life. When asked who inspires her artwork, her response was “my guide dog is my muse.” Gustafson and her guide dog, Pilgrim, are graduates of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Gustafson’s work has been displayed at venues including the San Francisco City Hall and the Marshall B. Ketchum University Eye Care Center, as part of the Shared Visions Art Exhibit, which features artwork from blind and visually impaired artists from around the world. The exhibit is one of only four such art exhibitions of its kind in the United States. Gustafson’s piece “Tulip Time” was selected as the 2012-2013 Shared Visions Art Exhibit Signature Artwork Best of Show.



About Marshall B. Ketchum University

Established in 1904, the Marshall B. Ketchum University is a private, non-profit, educational institution.  The University confers a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (O.D.); a Master of Science in Vision Science (M.S.) degree; and a Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) degree.  The University is also adding the School of Physician Assistant Studies as the first step in the development of an interprofessional healthcare campus.  Marshall B. Ketchum University provides a diversity of healthcare training opportunities in an environment fully focused on medical professionalism, combining advanced clinical training with innovative teaching methods.

The University’s superior 109-year-old optometric clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups.  Marshall B. Ketchum University owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers¬ – the Eye Care Center located on its campus in Fullerton, CA, and the Optometric Center of Los Angeles located on Broadway at Martin Luther King Boulevard.

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