FOREST GROVE, Ore. — Pacific University in Oregon recently named Kaua‘i boy and alumnus Stanley Yamane ‘65, O.D. ‘66, the 2012 recipient of the University’s Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist, Joe Lang reported May 25 for the Pacific University.
“I am flattered to receive this tremendous honor that remembers a very special person, Dr. Kamelia Massih,” Yamane said. “I will always cherish the fact that it is named after someone so dedicated to the type of life she lived.”
Kamelia Massih was a 1985 College of Optometry alumna who passed away in March 2010 following a three-year battle with cancer. She gave countless hours of time and financial resources to a wide range of local and national charities. She was also a loving wife and mother who enjoyed the fine arts, including music and dance, as well as the outdoors and traveling.
Yamane received the award from Massih’s brother, Fariborz Masih, during the University’s Professional Schools and Programs Commencement ceremony May 19.
Yamane is an internationally recognized practitioner, clinical researcher, educator, author, lecturer and business leader. He founded Eye Care Associates of Hawai‘i and grew it into one of the premier contact lens practices in the country during 24 years in clinical practice.
Yamane traveled throughout the world to teach fellow optometrists about corneal physiology and the benefits of frequent contact lens replacement. He has authored many articles and book chapters and has held numerous leadership positions within the profession, including president of the American Optometric Foundation.
An inductee of the National Academies of Practice as a distinguished practitioner of optometry, he holds an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Pacific and an honorary doctorate of science from Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry.
His tireless support of students and practitioners are well documented and have set the standard by which others follow, Pacific Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs John Miller said during the ceremony.
The Kamelia Massih Prize consists of a plaque and monetary stipend from a trust established by the estate of Dr. Massih. In addition to expressing admiration for Massih, Yamane said he was honored to follow 2011 recipient and the initial prize winner, Dr. James Berglund O.D. ‘60.
Like Berglund, Yamane donated the stipend to Pacific to assist optometry students.
Yamane thanked Massih’s family, the university and his own family, including wife Joyce Yamane, his three children and deceased parents.
“In 1961, I was a shy, nervous kid from Hawai‘i,” Yamane said. “I followed my dream to Pacific to become an optometrist. There was some rough sledding along the way, but perseverance and the support of many here at Pacific opened up opportunities for me I never thought possible.”
Yamane and his wife Joyce met on the plane to begin their studies at Pacific. Tears welled as he expressed his admiration and love for her unconditional support throughout his life.
“Joyce was and is the source of my strength,” Yamane told her. “You are truly the wind beneath my wings.”