Skip to main content

Throwback: 1904


In 1904, Dr. Marshall Bidwell Ketchum began a school in Los Angeles with the humble mission of teaching students how to refract and fit glasses to help people see better. He founded the third-oldest optometry school in the nation in the Lankershim Building, located in downtown Los Angeles.

The history of the Southern California College of Optometry didn’t truly begin when the institution was founded as the Los Angeles School of Ophthalmology and Optometry in 1904, but rather it began years before as a vision of its founder, Dr. Marshall B. Ketchum. His vision of eye care came at a time in history when the profession of optometry was in its infancy and striving to develop its own identity. He made very significant and long-standing contributions to the profession not only in California, but in the nation. Without a doubt, Dr. Marshall B. Ketchum was a visionary, entrepreneur and prominent leader in the profession.

In 2013, SCCO became part of something bigger – Marshall B. Ketchum University. In 2018, we will celebrate the first of many milestones – the University’s fifth birthday. Ketchum University is leading a momentous change in health care education – a change that breaks down the traditional silos between different professional programs so students understand, on a comprehensive level, how to deliver excellent patient care in a team environment. Dr. Ketchum would be proud. His entrepreneurial spirit is still alive today as Marshall B. Ketchum University reimagines health care education.

To share your throwback photos and stories, contact us at