On Thursday morning, my lab group was lucky enough to have enough time between Contact Lens and Vision Therapy labs to take heed of an email from Dr. Lebowitz titled “Newman’s last lecture is happening right now!”
So, at 10:30, we met down on the second floor, where Dr. Newman was lecturing on phorias. There we were joined by many – third years, other second years, faculty, staff, and others. Then, a few first years dressed as fairies (you’ll have to ask them about the significance of that!) came into the lecture hall to begin the tribute to Dr. Newman.
And so we all poured into the lecture room, which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen hold so many people. The first years bought Dr. Newman the leg lamp from A Christmas Story in a crate filled with hay. A few speeches were given, but I already don’t remember what was said. I will, however, will always remember and be thankful for Dr. Newman’s wit, wisdom, and his passion for optometric education. So will everyone who was in the room that morning:
What is Dr. Newman’s legacy? I don’t think I could ever truly quantify how large that is. Let’s consider that he has been teaching for forty years and has taught over 5000 students, according to SCO. If you take those 5000 optometrists and multiply that by the number of patients seen by each one of those optometrists and consider all the locations in which those optometrists have practiced, you might get a sense of the magnitude of Dr. Newman’s impact. With that said, congratulations on your coming retirement, Dr. Newman! You truly deserve it. Thank you everything that you’ve done for me and countless other optometry students, and thank you for all that you have done to advance optometry as a profession.