Preserve our Past, ENSUre Our Future

In 2014, NSU’s Oklahoma College of Optometry wrapped up the Embrace the Vision campaign, our first ever, raising more than one million dollars in gifts and commitments. Through that campaign not only did we succeed in establishing the Lesley L. Walls Vision Center on NSU’s Broken Arrow campus, but we raised both campus and community awareness of the need for a new Optometry facility in Tahlequah.

And here’s the great news: Now NSU, under President Steve Turner’s leadership, has launched a university-wide comprehensive campaign, called “Preserve our Past, ENSUre Our Future.” This bold initiative has a working goal of $20.925 million, and of that $9 million has been allotted for Phase I of establishment of a brand new Oklahoma College of Optometry complex. This will eventually provide the new clinical facilities, thus ensuring a bright future for the program.

Highlights of the new College of Optometry complex include:
  • Enhanced location for better visibility and access
  • Strategic layout to facilitate better patient flow and use of space
  • Better room layouts with more uniformity and a more professional feel
  • State-of-the art technologies, including wireless internet and telemedicine capabilities

Embrace the Vision helped generate resources to assist with planning costs for the new complex. Now, we are able to leverage those funds, along with additional funds committed by the university, to complete initial designs, renderings, and programming. As you might guess, this is a very exciting time for those of us intimately involved in this energizing project!

Dean Doug Penisten said, “A new Tahlequah home for Optometry will allow us to take our program to its highest levels ever. We will build on our tradition of excellence in patient care and education, and we will use these new facilities to provide an even higher level of service to all the many students, patients, and community members who depend on us. Through this upgrade, we will have a showplace home, and NSU Optometry will be better able to meet its greatest potential and loftiest goals.”

We hope you will share our excitement for NSU Optometry’s future. For more information about Preserve our Past, ENSUre Our Future, please contact Dean Doug Penisten, or assistant dean for Development Lee Carr. Phone (918-444-4000) or email (penisten@nsuok. edu; are perfect ways to get your conversations started.