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Eye Institute Gets $31M Donation

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It comes from Jeffrey A. Cole and Patricia O’Brien Cole.INVISION Cole

The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute has received a $31 million gift from Jeffrey A. Cole and his wife, Patricia O’Brien Cole.

The donation “will help Cole Eye Institute expand its clinical and surgical capabilities as well enhance its research and educational mission,” according to a Cleveland Clinic press release. That will include a future expansion to the Cole Eye Institute, to be named the Jeffrey and Patricia Cole Building.

“Jeff has been a good friend to the Cole Eye Institute over the years and we are excited to continue our partnership on the next phase of growth that will put us at the forefront of our field,” said Dr. Daniel F. Martin, chairman of the Cole Eye Institute and The Barbara and A. Malachi Mixon III Institute Chair of Ophthalmology.

In 1999, Jeffrey Cole and his company, Cole National Corp., which was based in Cleveland for 60 years from 1944 to 2004, contributed the lead gift that established the Cole Eye Institute.

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Cole led Cole National as chairman and CEO from 1983 until 2003 when the company entered into discussions that led to its sale to Luxottica in 2004. The company was founded by his late father, Joseph E. Cole. It became one of the world’s largest optical companies with brands including Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, EyeMed Managed Vision Care, as well as Things Remembered Gift Stores.

Cole co-founded Pearle Europe, now known as Grandvision, in late 1996 with the Dutch investment company HAL Trust. He has served for 20 years as a supervisory board member of Grandvision, based in Amsterdam. The company has grown over the past 20 years to 6,400 optical stores in 45 countries and over $3 billion in revenue and 32,000 employees.

Cole serves on the boards of Safilo and Hilco.

Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute has been ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. News & World Report for the past five years.

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