Bert C. and Lydia M. Corwin Fund

Dr. Bert C. Corwin received his doctor of optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1957. After graduation, he joined the primary care practice of Dr. Ralph E. Wick, past president of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) 1961-1962, in Rapid City, South Dakota. His primary interest was on contact lenses and low vision. After retiring from general optometric practice, Dr. Corwin was director of the Low Vision Department for the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute.

A longtime supporter of education, research, philanthropy and a true leader, Dr. Corwin served optometry in many capacities. He has been a FDA investigator for several contact lens manufacturers and has written articles and lectured on contact lenses and low vision to apt audiences in both the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Corwin co-chaired the first International AAO meeting, held in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1992, and he was instrumental in the American Optometric Foundation (AOF) becoming an affiliate of the AAO. He is one of only 2 Fellows who were both Past President of the AAO (1988-1990) and the AOF (1995-1996). He also served terms as Past President of the South Dakota Optometric Society and the South Dakota State Board of Optometry. Dr. Corwin’s membership participation extends into being a diplomate of the Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Section of the AAO, a member of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists Limited, Distinguished Practitioner member of the National Academy of Practice in Optometry, and he is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare.

In 1992, Dr. Corwin received the South Dakota Optometrist of the Year Award, in 1993 the American Optometric Association National Optometrist of the Year Award, and was given special honor by the American Optometric Foundation in 1999.

His wife of 54 years, Lydia Corwin, has shown incredible grace and service at Academy meetings and is a longtime donor and volunteer for the AOF. She and Bert have two children, B. Clark Corwin II, and Kelley Fromm, and three wonderful grandsons, Chase, Jake, and Nicholas Fromm.

The AOF invites you to use the pledge form to make a contribution to the Bert C. and Lydia M. Corwin Fund.

The broad goal of the fund is to provide support for graduate students in optometry and vision science in the area of contact lenses. This will support an annual scholarship to be used for a contact lens research project, conducted by a PhD graduate student, enrolled in an accredited school or college of optometry. The AOF Board, with consultation of Dr. Bert and Lydia Corwin will determine the timeline, application, and the criteria for selection.

Current Status: $75,332

(as of September 30, 2015)