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SCCO Honors Artists of Philanthropy


The Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO), has honored three Artists of Philanthropy for their distinguished support at its Circle of Vision Luncheon held on January 18.  Honorees Lynn C. Gabriel, O.D.; Joseph C. Mallinger, O.D., M.B.A.; and Michael R. Sellers, O.D., were recognized at a gathering of SCCO alumni and friends at the Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton.

"This year we are presenting Circle of Vision Awards for Distinguished Philanthropy to three very deserving alumni," said SCCO President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D.  "The generosity of Doctors Gabriel, Mallinger and Sellers is exceptional, is long-standing, evokes change, and is truly appreciated."

The financial generosity of the three honorees has provided for student scholarships as well as institutional support.  In addition, they have given of their time to the College and to the profession of optometry.

Dr. Lynn Gabriel, a 1978 graduate of SCCO, built a successful private practice in Pasadena, CA, from which she retired six years ago.  A long-time major donor to the College, she also served as president of the Alumni Association, 1987–89 and was named Distinguished Alumnus, 1993.  Dr. Gabriel also holds the distinction of serving as president of the California Optometric Association, 1990–91.  She is an active participant and fundraiser for a number of organizations.

Dr. Joe Mallinger, president and CEO, Vision West, Inc., is a 1972 graduate of SCCO.  He practiced optometry in Coronado and Escondido, CA, prior to establishing a private practice in Carlsbad in 1976.  He retired from that practice in 1996 after 24 years and then joined Vision West, Inc.  A past president of the California Optometric Association, Dr. Mallinger is an active member of many professional and community organizations.  He was elected to the College's Board of Trustees in 2010.

Tucson, Arizona optometrist Michael Sellers, O.D., is a 1978 graduate of SCCO.  As a Grand Patron, he has established scholarships at his alma mater to assist students in attaining their Doctor of Optometry degree.  A co-contributor to the endowed, Arizona Vision Service Plan Scholarship in 2001; he also set-up the Michael R. Sellers, O.D., Scholarship Funds in 1999 for entering second-year students.  Since 1979, he has been a member of the local, state and national optometric associations.

The presenting sponsor of the Circle of Vision Luncheon was Essilor, a long-time contributor to SCCO's programs.

About the Southern California College of Optometry

Established in 1904, SCCO is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to educating today's minds to provide tomorrow's eye, vision and health care.  SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS).  The College announced, in August 2011, its plan to start a two-year Master's level Physician Assistant program.  It is anticipated that the first Physician Assistant classes will begin in the Fall of 2014, pending provisional accreditation.  This is the College's first step in the development of an interprofessional healthcare campus.

The College's superior 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.  SCCO 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 in south-central LA.

A special component of SCCO's educational program is community service.  Annually, SCCO faculty and optometric interns provide eye and vision care to thousands of uninsured or underinsured children and adults in our local communities through collaborations with other nonprofit organizations.