Bobier, Woodruff and Larkworthy lectures

School of Optometry and Vision Science Distinguished Lectures

The Bobier and Woodruff lecture award have been established to honour two of the School's exceptional contributors. Recipients are invited to speak during the School's annual Continuing Education program in June.

The Larkworthy Memorial Lecture promotes the learning and advancement of the optometric profession and is after the Vision Science Graduate Research Studies Conference as the keynote speaker.

Bobier Lecture

Clair Bobier

Clair was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, and received his Diploma of Optometry in 1948 from the Ontario College of Optometry in Toronto, the predecessor to the School. During his first year of private practice, Clair began sharing his methodical, analytical approach to clinical practice with the students at the College. In fact, throughout his life, he retained a common sense, thoughtful approach to his home life and to his chosen profession. An approach he would quickly tell you, with a mischievous grin, that he learnt in a prairie town with an obscure name like Peapod, Saskatchewan.

Clair was one of the first Canadian optometrists to undertake post graduate research in vision science. For his MS degree, he studied at Ohio State University under Professor Glenn Fry. His exposure to this eminent optometric researcher shaped his view on the importance of the scientific approach to the optometric profession. Over the many years of dedicated service, Clair became instrumental in the development of a scientifically-based curriculum and research-oriented faculty in Canada.

Immediately after receiving the MS degree in 1956, Clair returned to teach at the Ontario College and continued to do so at the new School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo, until his retirement in 1982. Clair was extremely influential in bringing optometry to the University of Waterloo. His ideals were passed along to university and government officials in many influential briefs which did much to ensure the respect and funding necessary for the future growth of the profession within the University of Waterloo.

The School of Optometry building itself embodies in its interface of clinic and research facilities, Clair's concept of what the profession should be: excellence in modern vision care, built on a firm base of scientific understanding.

The “Annual Clair Bobier Lecture in Vision” was created to recognize and thank Dr. Clair Bobier for his vision for the future of and his contributions to optometry.

Woodruff Lecture

Emerson Woodruff

Dr. Emerson Woodruff was a widely known and highly respected Canadian optometrist, educator and scientist before his recent passing in 2005. After practicing optometry in southern Ontario from 1950 to 1962, Emerson left private practice to teach and pursue a PhD degree in physiological optics at Indiana University. He joined the faculty of the School of Optometry in 1967. Emerson was Director of the Optometry Clinic from 1967 to 1974 and Director of the School from 1975 to 1981. He was instrumental both in the formation and growth of the clinical program as well as the establishment of the MSc and PhD graduate programs in vision science.

Before his retirement, Emerson published over 70 scientific and professional articles, mostly dealing with the epidemiology of visual anomalies. He served on a number of government agencies and commissions and received a number of awards from the profession of optometry.

The “Annual Woodruff Lecture” was established in 1994 to recognize Dr. Woodruff's many contributions to the School of Optometry and the profession he loved.

Bobier and Woodruff Award honourees

  Bobier lecturers Woodruff lecturers
1989 1st Ken J. Ciuffreda    
1990 2nd Ronald Jones    
1991 3rd Michel Millodot    
1992 4th Arnuf Remole    
1993 5th Anthony J. Adams    
1994 6th Robert F. Hess 1st Nathan Efron
1995 7th Donald G. Pitts 2nd William L. Jones
1996 8th Jay M. Enoch 3rd Brien Holden
1997 9th Howard Howland 4th George Woo
1998 10th David Regan 5th Martin Steinbach
1999 11th Jacob Sivak 6th Thomas Freddo
2000     7th Bruce Hawkins
2001 12th John Flanagan    
2002 13th Frank Schaeffel 8th Mark Bullimore
2003 14th Christine Curcio 9th Bernard Fresco
2004 15th John Lovasik 10th Alan Cruess
2005 16th Suzanne Fleiszig 11th Jimmy D. Bartlett
2006 17th Brenda Gallie 12th Jocelyn Faubert
2007 18th Graham Strong 13th C. Ross Ethier
2008 19th Desmond Fonn 14th Anthony Cavallerano
2009 20th William Bobier 15th Judith West-Mays
2010 21st Eli Peli 16th Rand Allingham
2011 22st Susan R. Barry 17th Mitchell Scheiman
2012 23rd Jane Gwiazda 18th Lyndon Jones
2013 24th Melanie Campbell 19th Phil Hooper
2014 25th Graham E. Trope 20th Jeffrey W. Jutai
2015 26th Earl L. Smith 21st Ian L. Bailey
2016 27th Chris Eliasmith 22nd Christine Wildsoet
2017 28th John E. Dowling 23rd Susan Vitale
2019 29th Emily Chew 24th Victor Perez
2020 30th Felipe A. Medeiros 25th

Jorge Cuadros

2022 31st Ben Thompson 26th Marcia Anderson
2023 32nd Trefford Simpson 27th Chi-ho To

Larkworthy Lecture

Following the war, Dr. Donald Larkworthy attended and graduated from the College of Optometrists of Ontario in 1949 when it was located in Toronto.  This was one of the largest classes in history.  He spent his career practicing optometry in Stratford, Ontario and was committed to the health and vision care needs of his patients. Dr. Larkworthy was grateful for his career and the quality of life that it provided for his family.  He was also passionate about learning and advancement of the optometric profession and therefore, he made a bequest to the School of Optometry & Vision Science to establish the Larkworthy Memorial Lecture

Larkworthy Award honourees

Larkworthy lecturers
2017 1st

Austin Roorda

2019 2nd

James Danckert

2020 3rd Laurence Harris
2021 4th Donna Strickland
2022 5th Anne Dagg
2023 6th Mark Servos
2024 7th Deborah McGregor