Alumni, CE & Donors | Distinguished Alumnus Awards

For Sustained and Outstanding Service to the Profession and College of Optometry

The 2016 Recipient

Brett Bence, OD, FAAO

Class of 1979

Brett Bence, OD, FAAO

Class of 1979

Throughout his life and career, Brett Bence, OD, '79, FAAO, has given of himself to others and his community.

Brett graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University and entered UCHO in the fall of 1975. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with his OD degree in 1979. After graduation, Brett served his country as a lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve at the Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego. Subsequently, Brett moved to Washington State and became a pioneer in the co-management of surgical patients with ophthalmology. Today Brett is a partner and the director of optometric services in a large multi-center surgical and co-management practice in western Washington.

Throughout his career, Brett has distinguished himself via his service to our profession. He has effectively testified in his state legislature to expand the scope of optometric practice, he has held virtually every office in the Washington Association of Optometric Physicians and for his efforts; he received the President's Distinguished Service Award from the WAOP and in 1997 was named Doctor of the Year for Washington State. Brett has also been actively involved in optometric education. He has served as adjunct faculty for three optometry schools including UHCO and has presented nearly 200 post-graduate lectures, posters and papers at the American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting. For the past 10 years, he has focused much of his volunteer efforts on promoting the Academy. In 2005, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Academy and he is currently serving as the President of the Academy.

Brett has also worked to enhance the lives of future optometrists through support of UHCO's growth and investment in continuing education. Brett established an endowment for American Academy of Optometry Student Membership to help students become more active and promote life-long learning within the field.

Simply put, he is a fantastic role model. His career in patient care and service to his community and profession make him the UHCO 2016 Alumnus of the Year. We wish him all the best as he continues to embody the UHCO mission: Enhancing Vision for Life!

Past Recipients