Dr. Jorge and Nancy Benavente Leaders in Optometry Scholarship to Support Future Optometrists

Monday, May 23, 2016

The IU School of Optometry has received a $50,000 gift from alumnus Dr. Jorge Benavente and his wife, Nancy, to endow the  Dr.Jorge and Nancy Benavente Leaders in Optometry Scholarship.  The scholarship will support incoming students in the School of Optometry who are planning to enroll in the newly-established Business Management Certificate Program, with special consideration given to underrepresented populations,  including but not limited to financially challenged students, and/or students with diverse cultural experiences.

 Made during FOR ALL: the Bicentennial Campaign for Indiana University, the gift qualifies for a unique matching opportunity being offered by the University. In perpetuity, the interest generated on the $50,000 endowment will be matched by the University, effectively doubling the impact of the gift. The FOR ALL campaign has a $2.5 billion fundraising goal, spans all of Indiana University's campuses across the state of Indiana, and will culminate with a bicentennial celebration in 2020.

“Nancy and I are very pleased to be able to establish the Dr. Jorge and Nancy Benavente Leaders in Optometry Scholarship at the IU School of Optometry," said Dr. Benavente. "I have been blessed by my profession, and we want to help optometrists prosper and help as many people as possible."

Dr. Benavente is a 1977 graduate of the OD program at the IU School of Optometry and has been in private practice for thirty-seven years, currently in Munster, Indiana, at Benavente Eyecare.  In 2009, Dr. Benavente earned an MBA from Indiana University, as well.  

Because of his experience and success in private practice, Dr. Benavente has recently been asked to join the Practice Excellence Advisory Council (PEAC) at the IU School of Optometry, where he will advise school leadership on the development of the Executive Certificate in the Business of Eye Care and other issues related to excellence in private practice.

In fall of 2015, the IU School of Optometry partnered with IU’s globally-recognized Kelley School of Business to offer the Executive Certificate in the Business of Eye Care.  The Business Management Certificate Program provides a framework for students to pursue an MBA with Emphasis in the Business of Eye Care. This program is specifically geared to eye care professionals and designed to equip students with practical business intelligence, IT leadership, and business research. The certificate offers an understanding of how to apply innovative practices to improve business operations.  IU is the only optometry school in the country offering such a program.  

“Dr. Benavente’s leadership on the Practice Excellence Advisory Council will be a big help to us here at the School.  We are very excited about the launch of our Business Management Certificate Program, and the opportunity to leverage Dr. Benavente’s knowledge and expertise in this area is sincerely appreciated,” said Dean of the School, Dr. Joseph Bonanno.  “The generosity he and Nancy have demonstrated through establishment of the Dr. Jorge and Nancy Benavente Leaders in Optometry Scholarship is tremendous as it will allow us to continue recruiting the best and brightest to the School.  We are deeply grateful for their leadership and generosity."