50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni of Honour Award Recipients Announced

On Friday, June 29th during the 2017 CAO Congress, the School of Optometry & Vision Science was pleased to announce the recipients of the 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni of Honour Awards in front of over 500 practitioners from across the country.

In honour of our 50th, we expanded our awards program to acknowledge graduates from each decade that we have been at the University of Waterloo as well as recognize an alumnus from prior to 1967.  Recipients are UW graduates who have been nominated by their peers. 

Recipients have made outstanding contributions to their communities and to the profession, whether it be locally, provincially, nationally, and/or internationally; they have taken on leadership roles and supported community causes and have advocated for optometry, research and optometric education for the advancement of vision care and the betterment of Canadians and citizens world-wide.

Congratulations to:

Dr. George WooGeorge Woo, OD’64

He established UW’s low vision clinic, research program and Centre for Sight Enhancement, started the Polytech University optometry program and served as President of the World Council of Optometry.  He has been described as an esteemed leader, educator, researcher, clinician, a political savant and a visionary. Full bio (PDF).

Dr. Graham StrongGraham Strong, OD 1970, MSc 1983

A passionate advocate for low vision rehabilitation services. He has served as the Director of the School and Director of the Centre for Sight Enhancement where he helped create a procession of highly innovative device technologies for people with vision loss. He is also an "Expert Witness - Forensic Optometrist". Full bio (PDF).

Dr. Susan CooperSusan Cooper, Class of 1977

She has been extensively involved with the College of Optometrists of Ontario, established and developed the IOBP program at the School, is involved with the American Academy of Optometry, Optometry Giving Sight and is Past President of the World Council of Optometry. Full bio (PDF).

Dr. William (Bill) BobierBill Bobier, OD 1978, MSc 1982, PhD (Cambridge)

He has served on almost every committee at the School, including serving a term as the Director while also sharing his expertise across UW and throughout the profession. His dedication to teaching and research in paediatrics and his advocacy for optometry and vision science sets him apart as someone who jumps in, leads and inspires. Full bio (PDF).

Dr. Scott MundleScott Mundle, Class of 1983

Scott has been extensively involved in the profession and has served on countless committees with the MAO and the CAO serving as President of both organizations.  He is incoming President of the World Council of Optometry and Chair of Optometry Giving Sight. He is very active in his community, giving his time and support.  Full bio (PDF).

Dr. Derek ArmitageDerek MacDonald, Class of 1992

Derek has served on multiple committees with the College of Optometrists of Ontario and the OAO, serving as OAO President. He is an advocate of inter and intra professional collaborations and is a founding member of the Eye Health Council of Ontario. He is an active researcher and an accomplished CE lecturer.  Full bio (PDF).

Dr. Andrew HartwickAndrew Hartwick, OD 1999, MSc, 2000, PhD (Dalhousie)

Since joining the faculty at the College of Optometry at Ohio State University, he has quickly established himself as a research leader, looking at the visual neuroscience with current emphasis on traumatic brain injury. He has taken on leadership roles focused on advancing knowledge and disseminating information to the profession. Full bio (PDF).

Dr. Cheryl BayerCheryl Bayer, Class of 2008

Cheryl has received the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from the Women Business Owners of Manitoba. She is actively involved with the MAO and is currently the Assistant Registrar. She is involved with the CNIB and volunteers with community organizations.  She recently received the MAO “Optometrist of the Year” award. Full bio (PDF).

Previous recipients

2013 Alumni of Honour awards

Congratulations to our 2013 Alumni of Honour Award Winners! In July, during the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) Congress in Edmonton, the School of Optometry and Vision Science was pleased to announce our 2013 Alumni of Honour award winners: 

This Award was established as a way for the School and the profession to recognize the many exceptional graduates we have from our program who continually give their time and energy to enhance the profession of optometry and give back to their communities. Recipients are nominated by their peers and are recognized biennially during the CAO congress. Past winners include Gordon Hensel in 2011, and David McKenna and Dorrie Morrow in 2009.

After reviewing the many wonderful nominations for our 2013 Alumni of Honour Award, Drs. David Dobbelsteyn and Dan Hayhoe were selected as our winners. What stands out about these two outstanding individuals is their commitment to helping those in need through their charitable work as well as their ability to foster relationships with other health care professions to create and advance new models for the delivery of eye care.

Please join us in celebrating their accomplishments and contributions to the profession, their communities and beyond!

2011 recipient - Gordon Hensel

Gordon HenselOn Saturday, July 23, 2011 at the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) Congress in Winnipeg, Dr. Marlee Spafford announced that Dr. Gordon Hensel, OD ’80 from Edmonton, Alberta was the selected recipient of the Waterloo School of Optometry’s 2011 Alumni of Honour Award.  Dr. Hensel was not able to attend the congress so nominator Dr. Jason Pearce received the award on his behalf.


2009 recipients

On Saturday, August 1, 2009 during the luncheon at the CAO Congress in Charlottetown, PEI, the School of Optometry was proud to present our first Biennial Alumni of Honour Awards to two outstanding individuals. Congratulations to our 2009 Alumni of Honour Award recipients Dr. David McKenna and Dr. Dorrie Morrow! The School of Optometry is proud of your accomplishments and we are happy to be able to recognize these two tremendous individuals with this special honour.

Dr. McKenna and Dr. Morrow


Award process

Award selection will be made by a committee including the Director of the School of Optometry or delegate, the Associate Director, Advancement, a senior faculty member from the graduate program and the President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists or designate. All applications will remain active for the duration of 2 award cycles.

The School welcomes nominations for the Alumni of Honour Award from alumni, students, staff, retirees and members of the public. Self-nominations will not be considered. The nominees must hold uWaterloo Optometry degree(s) (OD, MSc or PhD).

To nominate an alumnus or alumna for the Alumni of Honour Award, a nomination form must be completed, including all mandatory fields. The 2011 form will be posted at a later date.

Privacy statement

The University of Waterloo respects your privacy and that of the person you are nominating. Information collected here will only be used for the purposes of the award. Our full privacy policy is online or you may contact Andrea Carthew.