Retired Yucca Valley Optometrist Barton M. Pedersen, O.D., was honored as the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. The 1963 alumnus has an impressive record of volunteer service to his community, the profession of optometry, and his alma mater. Dr. Pedersen was honored at the College's 109th Commencement Exercise on, Thursday, May 23.
Dr. Pedersen has been a member of the California Optometric Association and American Optometric Association for as long as he’s been practicing Optometry and continues his membership still. He served as the Cahuilla Valley Optometric Society President multiple
times and was particularly active during the battle to gain the rights to diagnose and prescribe therapeutic drugs. Dr. Pedersen’s Yucca Valley practice of 47 years served generations of patients, with associates and SCCO alumni, Ron Hayashida, O.D., '63, joining him in 1973 and Dennis Lowman, O.D., '87, in 1987.
A member of Yucca Valley Rotary Club since 1969, Dr. Pedersen was also active with the United Way of Morongo Basin, Yucca Valley Town Incorporation and Friends of Copper Mountain College. Dr. Pedersen was a co-founding Board Member of the Basin Wide Foundation and is even now involved, through the Foundation and along with Merkie, in the development of an ADA compliant park for physically and mentally challenged children.
SCCO has been a grateful recipient of Dr. Pedersen’s volunteerism and philanthropy. He has served as a Trustee of the College, 1993–96, an SCCO Council of Regents Member and a former Annual Fund Chair. Dr. Pedersen is a Life Member of the Alumni Association and the Class Champion for his Class of 1963. He's a member of the SCCO Epoch Society with 34 years of generous giving to the College.