The Glenn A. Fry Lecture Fund

Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award

Since 1970, the American Optometric Foundation (AOF) has recognized the research contributions of distinguished scientists and clinicians through the Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award. This prestigious award was established by AOF to honor Dr. Glenn A. Fry, who contributed so much to the profession of optometry through his writings, teachings, and administrative duties at the Ohio State University.

Award recipients present a lecture during the American Academy of Optometry's annual meeting on a topic of high relevance to optometry. Recipients also receive an inscribed plaque and $2,500 cash stipend.

Current Recipient of the Fry Award

2016 Erica Fletcher

Past Recipients of the Fry Award

2015: Joanne Wood
2014: Lyndon Jones

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Glenn A. Fry: A Remarkable Scholar and Gentleman

By Richard M. Hill, OD, PhD
Dean and Professor Emeritus of Optometry
College of Optometry, The Ohio State University

Dr. Fry Over his eighty-seven years, Glenn A. Fry interacted with, and clearly influenced, literally hundreds of individuals within and outside his profession --- students, colleagues, university administrators, standards participants, as well as neighbors in his home community. Virtually all who enjoyed his friendship are prone to use the word "remarkable" to describe him. Such an accolade, if applicable to even one dimension of a person's life, is noteworthy. What is unusual about Glenn is that the term "remarkable" can be applied to so many dimensions of his life.

For those of us who were his faculty colleagues, one major dimension of Glenn's life was his role as graduate degree advisor to a corps of M.S. and Ph.D. degree recipients. These beneficiaries of his guiding influence have had an impact on research, teaching, and administration greater than is traceable back to any other single individual in our profession. Their accomplishments range from deanships, leadership roles in NIH, and textbook generation, to authorship of international ophthalmic standards --- much of this work in the image of their mentor and influenced by his early guidance.

Glenn published some three hundred research reports and several books ranging from the clinically applied to the most mathematically challenging frontiers of eye movement and the sensory processes of vision. His last paper, titled "Color of Maximum Saturation," appeared in Optometry and Vision Science just a few months before his death. Honorary degrees from six educational institutions, the Tillyer Medal of the Optical Society of America, and the Prentice Medal of the American Academy of Optometry are just a few of the recognitions his research attracted. His own college at The Ohio State University struck a medal in his name, The Glenn A. Fry Medal in Physiological Optics. It has been given to researchers who aspire to similar levels of research excellence, including two Nobel Laureates.

His professional students, too, in the course of their optometry studies, saw him as remarkable, but in quite a different way. They saw him as a teacher of nearly every course in the optometry curriculum at one time or another and as a leader of the optometry program, and then school, from 1935 to 1966. Although challenging in the classroom, even for graduate students, he was always patient and understanding of the struggling professional student, and spent as much of his time as was needed to bring any earnest student through the most difficult subjects.

In the ophthalmic standards community, national and international, he was again seen as remarkable, not only for his patience and endurance at the conference table, but more often over the decades as the hardest working member of such groups, i.e., as their recording or corresponding secretary.

This past January at the memorial ceremony held for Glenn in Columbus, another group of people, largely unknown to his academic colleagues, joined them to reveal how revered he was as a neighbor. He and his beloved wife, Martha, were known for their caring natures and generosity within their neighborhood and church - another remarkable dimension revealed. Both communities, academic and neighborhood, agreed that Glenn was the rare and consistent model of a gentleman, having genuine concern for all those with whom he interacted.

Glenn A. Fry will truly be remembered by his many friends and colleagues as a remarkable scholar and gentleman.