Essilor of America, Inc. receives 2015 Spirit of Philanthropy Award

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

For Dr. Rod Tahran and Danne Ventura of Essilor of America, the relationship with Indiana University and the School of Optometry is a personal one that goes back many years.  For each of them, their personal and professional relationships with Dr. Irv Borish, longtime faculty member at the IU School of Optometry, have been particularly meaningful.  Widely considered the “Father of Clinical Optometry,” Dr. Borish was the inspiration for establishing the Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research at IU Bloomington in 1995.

Manufacturing some of the finest ophthalmic spectacle lenses in the world, Essilor of America was a pioneer in the creation and marketing of the first no-line bifocal eyeglasses. Essilor has supported optometric education and research for decades, and has been particularly kind to the IU School of Optometry.

As the IU Bloomington Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research has established its reputation as an internationally recognized translational research center, Essilor has continued to fund vision research there. Essilor continues to support students through multiple programs, has helped continuing education programs enlist nationally ranked speakers for the annual Borish Symposium, and partnered with others to establish a Borish Scholarship at the school in 2014. Most significant has been its generous gift to help create the Essilor Eyewear Center in the school’s clinic, which will continue to serve patients and educate students for years to come.

"We are particularly proud of the work we’ve done with the Borish Research Center and the early work done by Dr. Borish.  His findings on Progressive Addition Lenses has had a direct impact on the early success and acceptance of Varilux lenses and I'm privileged to call him a friend and mentor," said Danne Ventura F.A.A.O., F.N.A.O., director, professional education, Essilor of America.

On April 14, 2015, both Dr. Rod Tahran and Danne Ventura were able to represent Essilor of America as they received the Spirit of Philanthropy award on the IUPUI campus.  One of the most prestigious philanthropy awards given at Indiana University, the Spirit of Philanthropy award recognizes those that have had a profound impact on IU’s growth and development through their gifts and voluntary service.  Essilor of America was one of thirty individuals and organizations recognized at this year’s event.

"We are honored to receive the Spirit of Philanthropy Award and are equally proud of our long-standing relationship with the Indiana University School of Optometry.  We firmly believe in the importance of strong relationships between higher education and industry, and have seen first-hand the success these partnerships can bring—from mentoring to research and development," said Rod Tahran OD FAAO, vice president, professional relations, Essilor of America.