The year 2009 marks the centenary of the birth of Otto Scherzer, one of the early pioneers of electron microscopy. Scherzer, shown in Figure 1, was the originator of the famous microscopy theorem that the spherical and chromatic aberrations of rotationally symmetric electron lenses were unavoidable . In honor of this centennial occasion, we organized a special memorial symposium during the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2009 meeting, which was held in Richmond, Virginia, in late July. The introductory talks of the symposium presented a fascinating mix of firsthand accounts about working with Scherzer in Darmstadt and descriptions of the correction concepts and the early corrector prototypes that emerged from his group. Placed in this historical context, the latest advances in aberration correction for scanning and fixed-beam instruments that were presented in this symposium were all the more impressive and conveyed a vivid sense of history in the making. Representative applications of aberration correction to a broad range of materials were also highlighted in platform and poster presentations. Here we give a short account of the emergence of aberration-corrected electron microscopy (ACEM) and very briefly summarize some of the prospects and challenges for this burgeoning field. Further information about these developments, including details of applications, will be found in selected papers from the symposium, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Microscopy and Microanalysis due to appear in mid-2010.