In Memoriam: Dr. Irving Bennett
Irving Bennett, OD ‘44, DSC (Hon.) ‘87, FAAO, an internationally renowned authority and publisher in the field of optometric economics and practice management and a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), passed away Sept. 7, 2020, at the age of 97.
Dr. Bennett served on the American Optometric Association (AOA) and was the second-ever editor of the Journal of the American Optometric Association, in addition to being a member of the AOA’s board of trustees. In 1973, Dr. Bennett was honored by the AOA as the National Optometrist of the Year. He was also a National Optometric Hall of Fame member and recipient of the prestigious AOA Distinguished Service Award.
At PCO, Dr. Bennett was named the Pennsylvania College of Optometry Alumnus of the Year in 1961, and he served on the Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1980. Thanks to Dr. Bennett’s generous support and commitment to educating students and practitioners in the business aspects of the practice of optometry, PCO was able to establish the Irving Bennett Business and Practice Management Center (now Bennett Career Services Center). In 1993, Dr. Bennett was appointed professor of Business and Practice Management at PCO. At PCO’s 71st Commencement, Dr. Bennett received his Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, a special degree to recognize unusual merit, creative leadership or distinctive accomplishments in scholarship, arts and letters, individual professions or service to mankind of national or international significance.
He was honored in 1995 with the President’s Medal at the University’s 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration for his outstanding contributions to PCO and the field of optometry and vision care.
Dr. Bennett is survived by his wife, Trude; two children, Linda Bennett, OD, and Donald Bennett, OD, MD; four grandchildren, Courtnee Bennett, Rebecca Bennett Maida, OD, Joslyn Overby and Beth Huey; and five great grandchildren.