The First Graduates of the New Century: Reunion Weekend for SUNY Optometry Alumni of the 2000s

2000s - Alumni Reunion 2018The classes of the aughts entered SUNY Optometry when the world was celebrating a new millennium. But for the students who were looking to become optometrists, school meant what it had forever: lots of work and not much sleep. “It was like boot camp,” says Dr. Rebecca Marinoff ’08, who is now an associate clinical professor at the College.

Dr. Long Tran ‘03 describes the experience the same way. “It wasn’t at the time, but studying late nights for exams alongside my classmates [is now my fondest memory],” he says. “It was stressful and fun at the same time.”

For all of the work, both have signed on to be reunion ambassadors—not to relive the stress, but to celebrate the camaraderie that led to graduation day. “Having a strong circle of support was extremely important. We all got through the tough times and the fun times together. I wouldn’t have had such a memorable experience at SUNY Optometry without them. We’re still lifelong friends to this day,” says Dr. Tran, who is senior associate and director of Contact Lens Services at St. Johns Eye Associates in St. Augustine, Florida.

“I have many fond memories,” says Dr. Marinoff, who is unable to single out a favorite professor because there were too many. “Halloween parties, Eye Ball, bachelorette parties and hanging out in New York City. The party at Dr. Rosenfield’s house at the end of first year was fun. And another special time was when we had a toast after the last final of third year.”

Drs. Marinoff and Tran hope to add to the list of special memories during reunion weekend. In fact, Dr. Tran cannot think of a single reason why anyone would stay away. “Come and hang out! It’ll be like old times!” he promises. Except, thanks to no labs, exams or all-nighters, it will actually be better.