Giving: Commemorating Kamelia

Kamelia Massih O.D.'85

Kamelia Massih O.D.’85 was always the smart one in the family, according to her brother Fariborz Maseeh.

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Kamelia Massih O.D.’85 was always the smart one in the family, according to her brother Fariborz Maseeh. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran in a family that emphasized education and science acumen, she was encouraged to follow
a medical career after her brother chose to pursue engineering.
“She was very bright and always had better grades than I had,” said Maseeh, who added his parents often pointed to Kamelia as an example of what could be accomplished.

Massih, who passed away in March 2010 after battling breast cancer, did indeed accomplish a lot. She and her brother came to the United States in 1977 to study at Portland State University. She then finished her undergraduate degree at Oregon State University. After considering dental school, she found optometry closest to her interests and enrolled at Pacific University, graduating in 1985.

In 1989 she opened her own practice, Beaverton Vision World, in a converted house. The business grew and moved into a 3,000-square-foot building she and her father designed, followed by a second clinic in downtown Portland. Massih was known not only for her expertise in glasses and contact lenses, but sports medicine and children’s vision. She gave her time and resources to a wide range of local and national charities and was fond of travel, the outdoors, fine arts, music and dance.

She also remembered her alma mater with a $50,000 bequest from her estate to the College of Optometry. The Kamelia Massih Endowment for Distinguished Graduates in Optometry will fund the Kamelia Massih Prize, the principal honor recognizing optometry alumni who have made a significant impact on the profession. The first award will be announced at the University’s commencement ceremony May 21.

Fariborz Maseeh hopes the bequest will inspire optometry alumni to contribute to the fund. “That would celebrate her life and help recognize Pacific University,” he said, adding that his sister “had a keen affinity toward Pacific University and was always very proud to be an alumna of the University.”

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