An Abilene native, Dressen was recruited to play football at Angelo State College. Though injury shortened his football career, he fondly recalls his time on campus, where he met his future wife and made lasting friendships. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1969 and then earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston.
Also, because Dressen attended Angelo State during a time of transition, he is one of a select few to earn two diplomas for one degree.
“I have one that says ‘ASC,’ but is stamped invalid, and one that says ‘ASU’ that hangs on my wall,” Dressen said. “The education really prepared me for my future studies at the University of Houston.”
I feel there are many in my class who also deserve this honor. I’m very proud to represent them.
Dr. Russell Dressen
After graduating from UH, Dressen returned to Abilene, opened his optometry practice, and has been a fixture in the community ever since, including supporting numerous nonprofit agencies.
“I work with the Lions Clubs to help kids that need help with their vision for school,” Dressen said. “I also support community growth through the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.”
Dressen also has a lifelong involvement in the Boy Scouts, a highlight of which was befriending fellow Eagle Scout and future Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the 1964 National Jamboree.
“I wanted to afford my son and others the same opportunities,” Dressen said. “I’m still on the board of the Texas Trails Council and involved with adult training.”
In recognition of his life achievements that have led to his many titles, Dressen has earned another one, the ASU Alumni Association’s 2019 Golden Ex of the Year.
“I am much honored to be named Golden Ex,” he said. “I feel there are many in my class who also deserve this honor. I’m very proud to represent them.”
Dressen stays connected to ASU through membership in the Alumni Association Century Club. His wife, Linda, is also an ASU alumna, and he claims their two kids, Kristen and Jeff, as his greatest accomplishment.