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In Memory of Elizabeth E. Caloroso, OD, M.Opt., Professor Emerita


Elizabeth E. Caloroso, OD, M.Opt., Professor Emerita of the Southern California College of Optometry, died on March 13, 2018, after a short battle with leukemia.

“A love of optometry and a dedication to contribute to its enhancement are abundantly evident in a review of the professional career of Dr. Caloroso. Her optometric accomplishments are highlighted in both private practice and in education by her exemplary efforts in vision therapy and the special vision care needs of children and infants,” wrote former SCCO President, Lesley L. Walls, OD, MD.

A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Caloroso traveled north to the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned four degrees: BA in psychology, 1949; BS in physiological optics, 1952; OD, 1953; and M.Opt., 1968.

Dr. Caloroso’s teaching career began at SCCO in 1954 as a Clinical Instructor. In 1957, she became an Assistant Clinical Professor, prior to accepting a teaching position at her alma mater, UC Berkeley, in 1966. She attained the rank of Associate Clinical Professor in 1972 at UC Berkeley, but retained her ties to SCCO as a visiting professor. During the 1974-1975 academic year, Dr. Caloroso re-joined SCCO on a full-time basis. Her teaching assignments took her to the University of Houston, College of Optometry, before returning, once again, to SCCO in 1981 at the rank of Professor.

Adding to her rich optometric career are the numerous administrative positions she held. Her first such position was as Director, Ocular Pathology Clinic, Los Angeles College of Optometry. Then, in 1975, she was named Chief of Vision Therapy/Pediatric Services. Dr. Caloroso also served as Coordinator of the Children’s Vision Residency, Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy Residency, and Pediatric/Disability Services. During Dr. Caloroso’s academic career, she developed programs and courses in the areas of pediatric optometry, vision therapy and behavioral optometry. She also initiated the first residency program at SCCO in children’s vision.

Dr. Caloroso authored books, chapters and journal articles primarily in her specialty area of vision therapy. In 1974, she published her first book, Orthoptics, and in 1993 she co-authored with SCCO Professor Michael W. Rouse, OD, MSEd, Clinical Management of Strabismus.

Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Caloroso published and presented a number of papers in her area of expertise, and she served as the faculty advisor to numerous student optometrists around the country.

Dr. Caloroso was a member of the California Optometric Association from 1954-1981, and the American Optometric Association from 1962-1981. She was also a member of both the national and California chapter of the American Academy of Optometry.

On June 30, 1998, Dr. Caloroso completed 36 years of service to SCCO. She was a loyal, dependable and faithful member of the College’s faculty, as well as a mentor and role model for her students, residents and colleagues.

“The SCCO community mourns the loss of a treasured member of our family,” said Kevin L. Alexander, OD, PhD, University President. “Dr. Caloroso was a committed member of the SCCO faculty for more than 30 years. Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family, friends, colleagues and former students.”