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Throughout the school's history, the Illinois College of Optometry has undergone several name changes. In 1872, Dr. Henry Olin first established the Chicago College of Ophthalmology and Otology. The college's name was then changed in 1891 to the Northern Illinois College of Ophthalmology and Otology (NICOO). The first name change due to a merge took place in 1926 when the college combined with the Needles Institute of Optometry and became the Northern Illinois College of Optometry. The college merged again in 1955, this time with the Chicago College of Optometry and became the Illinois College of Optometry under the guidance of Dr. Eugene Strawn. In 1994, the college was the first in the nation to offer a combined OD/PhD program. The year 2005 saw the 50 year anniversary celebration of the institution under the current name.