Foster Namias Legacy Society Member
"I chose to leave a gift to the College because I made some good friends there, including Dr. Namias and Dr. Kamens. Also, I give to show my appreciation for the quality education I received and to ensure that others have the same experience and opportunities. I am honored to support the College."
In high school, Senator Benjamin Lambert's government class took a field trip to the Capitol of Virginia. It was May 17, 1954, the day the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the Brown v. Board of Education case that segregation was illegal in the United States. This was the day he decided he wanted to enter politics to make Virginia a better Commonwealth and the United States a better nation.
But Sen. Lambert's path to politics was not a direct one. After high school, he attended Virginia Union University, majored in math and physics. He graduated in May 1959 and that fall entered the Massachusetts College of Optometry, now The New England College of Optometry. Sen. Lambert graduated in 1962 and opened his own optometry practice in Richmond, Virginia in 1963. Over the years, his relationship with the College has continued by serving as a Corporator, and in 2002 he received a Distinguished Alumni Award.
After a nearly 15-year career in optometry, Sen. Lambert decided to pursue his political aspirations. He was elected into the House of Delegates in 1978, becoming the first optometrist elected to the Virginia General Assembly. The first bill he supported legalized the use of drugs when dilating patients' eyes, a law which brought Virginia up-to-date with other states.
Sen. Lambert served in the House until 1986 when he was elected to the Senate, where he has served on the Education & Health and Finance Committees. He also chaired the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Committee. Sen. Lambert concluded his political career in January 2008 and continues to practice optometry. He now enjoys spending more time with his family.
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