AOA Foundation Announces Optometry Hall of Fame Inductees

The American Optometric Association and Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation have selected three AOA member doctors of optometry for the prestigious National Optometry Hall of Fame.

The 2015 inductees are:

  • Paul C. Ajamian, O.D., of Georgia, co-founder of the nation's first optometric co-management and referral center, Omni Eye Services of Atlanta. Upon graduating from the New England College of Optometry, he became one of the first optometrists to participate in a post-graduate fellowship program at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI) in Miami, Florida. He was awarded the AOA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2014.
  • Kenji Hamada, O.D., of Oregon, began his career in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, serving as captain and chief optometrist, earning the Meritorious Service Award. He has received the Young Optometrist of the Year Award, Optometrist of the Year Award and President's Award (earned three times) from the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association and the 2001 National Distinguished Service Award from the AOA. Dr. Hamada was also inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Practitioner in Optometry in 2000.
  • Earl L. Smith III, O.D., Ph.D., of Texas, is a Professor on the faculty of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He currently holds the Greeman-Petty Professorship in Vision Development and serves as the interim chief health officer of the University of Houston Amoco. He received the Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Optometric Association in 2003 and Optometrist of the Year Award in 2009.

The inductees will be honored at a ceremony and reception on Thursday, June 25, at 7 p.m., as part of Optometry's Meeting, held June 24-28, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.

This reception is supported by the Georgia Optometric Association, the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association and the Texas Optometric Association.

The National Optometry Hall of Fame is administered by Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation. For more information, visit the Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation website at