The MUSC Storm Eye Institute has been a leading center for the management of complex and serious eye diseases for over 40 years. Located adjacent to University Hospital, the institute’s downtown campus encompasses seven floors of clinical, research, and academic space totaling over 46,000 square feet, of which over 12,000 is directly committed to eye research.
The research institute enjoys a strong reputation for innovation and discovery in many fields including intraocular lenses, retinal function and diseases, and glaucoma neuroprotection.
Mrs. “Willie” Storm first envisioned Storm Eye in 1961 with a gift of $500,000 in honor of her late husband, Albert Florens Storm. The idea for the institute arose from the need to expand the space available to the current Department of Ophthalmology to allow more patients to be seen, expand the research mission, and provide eyecare to those in need.
MUSC received the gift in 1967 upon the death of Mrs. Albert Florens Storm at 95 years old. The institute’s stated mission at the time was: “At the Storm Eye Institute, vision is our mission. We seek to advance the science of Ophthalmology and meet the eye care needs of the public by committing to care, to teach, to serve, to discover”. Construction of the institute began in 1974 along Ashley Avenue in the downtown medical district. The dedication and ribbon cutting of the institute occurred in 1976.
Storm Eye continued to grow, and on April 1, 1990, it became clear that additional space was needed. A capital campaign was initiated to expand the existing space with more administrative, research, and teaching areas. This culminated in the roof-raising ceremony and celebration on October 11, 1996. The capital campaign raised over $8.8 million. It included the participation of over 4800 members of the Lions Clubs and countless other donors. The additional space added four more floors to the physical plant, including two floors dedicated to research and another to the administrative and teaching area, including a state-of-the-art auditorium.