Vincent Salierno Scholarship

History and Purpose

Vincent Salierno was born in 1903 in Magliano, Italy. From humble immigrant beginnings he established a successful optical company in 1941 in Newark, the Victory Optical Manufacturing Company grew to be a respected leader in the optical industry. Throughout his life, Vincent, known to his friends and family as Jimmy, was a generous and loved man. He supported an orphanage, a hospital, and a church in his place of birth.

Vincent was also on the Board of Directors of the Columbus Hospital in New Jersey. His family valued and continued his philanthropy and after his death in January 1973, his widow Rose established the Vincent Salierno Scholarship Fund with the American Optometric Foundation to provide scholarships to students in the field of optometry. Over the past thirty years more than one hundred scholarships have been awarded.


Between two and five scholarships of $2,000 are awarded for each academic year with the award going to the school or college for application to the student’s financial aid. In either case, a W9 form (or W-8BEN if non-U.S. resident) must be submitted or on file. Awards are generally mailed 4-6 weeks after deadline.

The scholarship rotates among the North American schools and colleges of optometry. To see if your school is eligible this year, review the list below. The Foundation will contact each eligible institution. AAOF will not accept applications directly submitted by a student.  Interested students should relay their desire for consideration to their institution award chair or financial aid representative who will provide a nomination form for completion and review by committee.

Eligibility and Nomination

The submission window opens July 20, 2020 and closes September 18, 2020.


First, second, third, and fourth year students pursuing a Doctorate of Optometry degree are nominated by his/her institution for this scholarship. The students must be enrolled in a full-time course of study and must have a 3.0 (“B”) average for all course work taken thus far in optometry school. The Vincent Salierno Scholarship is eligible for automatic renewal provided that the recipient maintains a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and is enrolled in a full-time course of study leading to a Doctorate of Optometry degree. Continued eligibility shall be determined annually.

The student  must be a member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). To learn more, visit the AAO website: Student Membership for student membership information.


The AAOF informs the schools designated for the current year's program that it may seek candidates and provides the application. Only one student will be chosen by the appropriate scholarship and awards committee of the selected school(s), using their own judgment based on the criteria stated in this paragraph:

The Vincent Salierno Scholarship is intended for a student who has extraordinary financial needs and would otherwise be hard pressed, if not incapable, of meeting the financial requirements of attending optometry school. Therefore, financial need is the primary criteria for selection. In making the selection of a recipient, the awarding school may not use any criteria other than financial need as the primary reason for selection. Secondary considerations can include academic progress and/or career potential.

Application materials (aside from the transcript that should be mailed) must be sent in an electronic format (preferably a PDF) to by close of business on the day of deadline and include the subject title: "Salierno" and the "Institution name" when emailed.

For further information contact:

Jennifer Rubin
Grants and Awards Manager
2909 Fairgreen Street
Orlando, FL 32803, USA
Phone: 321-319-4872

Rotation Schedule

The following rotation cycle may be altered by the AAOF Board of Directors:

Southern California College of Optometry - eligible to retain in 2020
University of Houston, College of Optometry - eligible to retain in 2020
New England College of Optometry - eligible to retain in 2020
Pacific University, School of Optometry- eligible in 2020
Midwestern University, Arizona College of Optometry- eligible in 2020
Rosenberg School of Optometry Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry
University of Waterloo, School of Optometry
Indiana University, School of Optometry
University of Montreal, School of Optometry
University of California, School of Optometry 
The Ohio State University, College of Optometry 
State University of New York, College of Optometry
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Optometry
Inter-American University, School of Optometry
University of Missouri, College of Optometry
Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
Northeastern State University, College of Optometry
Illinois College of Optometry
Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University 


Award Notes

Prior to window open, guidelines for any given award are subject to change by the AAOF and/or the award sponsor. Applicants are reminded to please review all information before submitting their application to ensure it meets all criteria.

All award recipients by application and acceptance of an award agree to allow the AAOF and/or the sponsor of the program to which they applied to publish their name, image, institution information, and any statement or quote provided by the recipient. These will appear in a variety of media formats that will announce and promote the program including, but not limited to, the AAOF and/or sponsor annual report, website, annual meeting promotional materials.


Kenneth Dang - New England College of Optometry 
Mark Calixte - Nova Southeastern University School of Optometry                   
Christopher Muegge - Southern College of Optometry  
Ryan Sandberg - Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University   
Sarah Supak  -  University of Houston College of Optometry                 

Brendon Manns - Michigan College of Optometry
Mark Calixte - Nova Southeastern University
Monica Udaykumar - Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
Christopher Muegge - Southern College of Optometry
Winnie Li - Illinois College of Optometry

Brendon Manns - Michigan College of Optometry
Stephanie N. Uchida - Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
Mark Calixte - Nova Southeastern University
Monica Udaykumar - Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
Keller Hopkins - University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry

Vincent and Ruth Salierno