» ENGINEERING, '62-'63
Herbert Wertheim overcame great adversity to become the scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist he is today. A child of poverty, Wertheim dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to join the U.S. Navy. He returned to school to study electrical engineering at the University of Florida, and then earned his bachelor’s in optical engineering and doctorate in optometry from the Southern College of Optometry. Soon after, he founded Brain Power, Inc., now the world’s largest manufacturer of ophthalmic instruments and chemicals.
Wertheim’s contributions have impacted millions — and not just through his inventions to the eye care field. As the namesake of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at UF, he has generously served as a community leader and contributor to multiple charitable organizations. In addition, Wertheim has served on the boards of numerous companies in banking, healthcare, aerospace, real estate, transportation and high-tech industries. A Distinguished Alumnus, Wertheim and his wife, Nicole, received the Academy of Golden Gators Transformational Leaders Award in 2014.