The notion of an optometry school at Indiana University was first seriously discussed by Indiana optometrists John P. Davey and Noah A. Bixler in the late 1930s. As members of the Indiana State Board of Optometry, they held high standards for practice in Indiana, and they felt that a school at IU would help maintain these standards.
In 1944, Irvin M. Borish, a graduate of the Northern Illinois College of Optometry, moved to Kokomo, Indiana, because he recognized those high standards required of Indiana optometrists. Davey and Bixler recruited Borish to help in the effort to start a school of optometry at IU. That December, they met with IU president Herman B Wells, who asked the Indiana Association of Optometrists to set up a committee to negotiate founding the school.
The next five years marked a journey that made everything else possible.