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The Schlange family received an outpouring of support from the ICO community as alumni, faculty, staff, and friends donated over $11,000 to the Darrell G. Schlange OD Scholarship Endowment for Excellence in Pediatric Optometry for students who demonstrate a dedication to pediatric optometry through service, leadership, teaching, and lifelong learning. 

As a faculty member at ICO for 56 years, he taught, mentored, and inspired six generations of future optometrists. Dr. Schlange is remembered as a wonderful and encouraging professor and a gifted clinician, but he was endeared for his kindness and generosity. 

On March 21, 2024, the ICO community paused to remember Dr. Schlange. Former students and colleagues expressed gratitude for his guidance, which had a profound impact on their professional and personal lives. 

For those not on campus, many took to social media, thanking Dr. Schlange for his many years. Paul Kirschner, OD ’77 noted, “I am proud to have been a friend and consider Darrell amongst my most admired teachers, mentors and colleagues.” Crystal Strickler, OD ’06 added, “He was a wonderful professor, who was kind, empathetic, and encouraging to be the best doctors we could be. He will be missed.” Amanda Haag, OD ’10 reminisced on her very first meeting, “[He] was my interviewer when I was applying to ICO. [He] was so kind and wonderful; I’ve never felt so at ease in any other interview.” Zeki Nur who worked with Dr. Schlange during his 19 years at ICO, remembered him as “one of the most caring, honest, accomplished, sincere, good human beings.” The outpouring of love clearly showed just how elemental Dr. Schlange has been to this institution.

In our interview with Dr. Schlange in the 2021 Summer Edition of ICO Matters he ended by saying:

“I am grateful to have been a part of astonishing changes in our profession, guided by the leadership, teamwork, and collaboration of many: six ICO presidents, eight academic deans, 21 board chairpersons, hundreds of faculty colleagues, an outstanding support staff, and thousands of ICO alumni. Truly it can be said that we stand on the shoulders of the many who have gone before us, contributing to our success in this challenging journey.”

ICO family, thank you for your generosity, which will ensure that Dr. Schlange's commitment to students will be celebrated for generations to come. For those who wish to donate, you can scan the QR code and you will be directed to Dr. Schlange's giving page.

To speak to someone about making a gift to ICO, please contact the Development Office at 312.949.7073 or  

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