• The American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation is pleased to announce Honor a Mentor—a new campaign to support our members’ passion for giving back to our profession. It’s an exciting way to honor a professor, colleague or advisor whom you admire and who has helped you in your career. Plus, you’ll be supporting the Academy’s mission to protect sight and empower lives.

    How It Works

    Make a donation and write your message:

    1. Visit our donate page and choose the Academy program you wish to support.
    2. Choose your gift amount. (View the benefits of each giving level.)
    3. Check “Yes” for your donation to be made in honor of someone.
    4. Write a 35- to 50-word statement or story about your mentor.
    5. Submit your gift.

    Submit photos for gifts $5,000 and up:

    1. Find a digital photo of you with your mentor (at least 400 x 300 pixels), or two separate photos of each of you (at least 160 x 200 pixels).
    2. Email your photo(s) to Todd Lyckberg.

    Your mentor will receive notification from the Foundation that a gift has been made in their honor, with the message from you. All gifts of $1,000 and up will be listed on the Honor a Mentor Recognition page.

    Honor My Mentor

    Charter Mentors and Mentees

    Here are a few of our charter donors who have already honored their advisors or supporters through the Honor a Mentor campaign.

    George A. Williams, MD


    Thomas M. Aaberg Sr., MD, MSPH

    “If you look up the word mentor, there is a good chance you will find a picture of Tom Aaberg. Tom is the consummate gentleman academic clinician who trained a generation of residents, fellows and junior faculty in Milwaukee and Atlanta many of whom became mentors and leaders in their own right as professors, department chairs, academic society and Academy presidents. I had the great privilege of working with Tom as a resident, fellow and colleague during his tenure at the Medical College of Wisconsin.” - George A. Williams, MD

    Gary W. Abrams, MD

    Gary was my mentor as a resident, fellow and colleague at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He was instrumental in my development as a surgeon and academician and ingrained in me the value of participating in surgical innovation and clinical trials. The one thing Gary could not teach me is his appreciation for fine country music.” - George A. Williams, MD

    Trexler M. Topping, MD

    “Trex completes the amazing triumvirate of my Milwaukee mentors. He also guided me as a resident and fellow. He introduced me to the wonders of fine Scottish whisky and I have never looked back. When it was time for Trex to return home to Boston, I had the privilege of taking over his clinical practice. Trex and I have remained close friends over the years. We worked together on OMIC for 15 years where I marveled at his penetrating insights and enjoyed his wicked sense of humor.” - George A. Williams, MD

    William L. Rich III, MD

    “It is difficult to imagine a better mentor in the area of health policy than Bill Rich. I first met Bill at a RUC meeting where he advised me to keep my mouth shut and ears open. Words to live by. Subsequently, I served on the RUC during Bill’s tenure as Chair and learned from his diplomacy, tact and insight which have benefited all of ophthalmology in ways few realize. As Academy Medical Director for Health Policy, Bill repeatedly emphasized patient-focus advocacy as the key to success in the increasingly byzantine world of Washington health care politics. Again, words to live by.” - George A. Williams, MD

    Gregory P. Kwasny, MD

    “I first met Greg during my residency at the Milwaukee VA where he did his best to teach me intracapsular cataract extraction and refraction. Upon completion of that rotation, he was delighted to learn of my interest in retina. Another of my health policy mentors, I worked with Greg as a member of the Academy RUC team where he taught me the nuances of physician payment and I followed him as AAO Secretary for Federal Affairs. The untold hours Greg spent on health policy and physician reimbursement were recognized by the Academy with the Outstanding Advocate Award in 2017.” - George A. Williams, MD

    Jane C. Edmond, MD


    Dan B. Jones MD

    “DBJ” has supported me in many stages of my career: my residency, faculty position (x2), and my second, late in life, fellowship. I love and admire DBJ’s brilliance, memorable bon mots, and instilling in me the drive to strive for excellence. - Xxoo Janie!

    Gregory L. Skuta, MD


    Douglas R. Anderson, MD

    For decades, Douglas R. Anderson, MD, has been one of the glaucoma community’s most impactful and revered leaders and thinkers, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be among the more than 100 Bascom Palmer Eye Institute glaucoma fellows for whom Doug has served as an enduring role model, friend, mentor and inspiration.- Gregory L. Skuta, MD

    Cheryl L. Huey, MD


    Paul R. Lichter, MD, MS

    Dr. Lichter was my medical school counselor. I was all set to pursue a career in OBGYN, but he said “Wait! I thought I wanted that also but I found something better. Spend a month on the Ophthalmology Service and see if you don’t change your mind.” I loved it! I have practiced Ophthalmology for 41 years. It has been the most enjoyable career, and I have had a wonderful family life as well. I am not ready to retire yet, as I love my patients and my solo practice.- Cheryl L. Huey, MD

    David F. Chang, MD


    (100th Birthday Celebration)

    Frank D. Berry, MD

    Frank was the first ophthalmologist to open a practice in what later became known as Silicon Valley. Immediately after completing my UCSF residency, I took over Frank’s practice upon his retirement. Although I received great training in medical school and residency, I didn't know the first thing about private practice. Fortunately, Frank taught me the "art" of patient communication and how to build a successful practice. For the next 37 years, Frank never lost interest in how I was doing, until he passed away this past February at the age of 101.- David F. Chang, MD

    Honor My Mentor

    Mentor Eligibility

    Mentors for this purpose will be a member in good standing of the ophthalmic community.  A mentor can be living or deceased. Those who wish to honor a mentor outside of the ophthalmic community are asked to submit by e-mail the name to the Foundation’s Executive Director for consideration by the Review Committee.

    The Review Committee

    The Committee members are the Foundation team and a member designated by the Academy’s Ethics Committee Chair.

    The Academy Foundation reserves the right to accept and approve the mentor to be honored based on ethics and integrity considerations.