UAB School of Optometry
The UAB School of Optometry (UABSO) is a graduate school at UAB. The school is housed primarily in the Henry Peters Building located at 1716 University Boulevard and also operates the UAB Eye Care practice at UAB Medical Center. Kelly Nichols is dean of the school. The school currently admits 55 students per class, with 16 residency spaces.
In June 1967 a joint committee of the Alabama State Legislature resolved that a need existed for a statewide school of optometry and that it should be located at one of the state's public universities. Funding was appropriated during a special session two years later, by Act of Alabama 1969-91. The school, the first in the United States to be formally affiliated with an academic medical center, opened that fall with Henry Peters as its founding dean.
Peters hired the school's founding faculty, including Steven S. Bates, Benjamin V. Graham, Thomas Greenspon, Kenton Kerr, Randall Jose, Dolphus Mitchell, Clyde Oyster, John Pierce, Kenneth Polse, William Rosenblum, and Ellen Takahashi.
The school awarded its first bachelors of science in physiological optics in 1971 and graduated its first Doctors of Optometry in 1973. Neil Bleakley was recognized as the first of his class. The School of Optometry Building opened in 1975. It was rededicated in 1994, honoring Peters. The building was significantly renovated between 2018 and 2021.
In September 1979 the UAB Vision Science Research Center opened under the leadership of Terry Hickey and conducting research was funded by the National Eye Institute.
- Henry Peters, 1969–1986
- Bradford Wild, 1986–1994
- Arol Augsburger, 1994–2000
- John Amos (interim), 2000–2003
- John Amos, 2003–2009
- Rod Nowakowski (interim), 2010
- Rod Nowakowski, 2011–2014
- Kelly Nichols, 2014–
- Pennycuff, Tim L. (January 28, 2015) "Office of the Dean, School of Optometry, 1969-" Library.UAB.edu
- UAB School of Optometry website