SCO Professor Emeritus L. Allen Fors, OD '69, MEd, died Sunday, February 2. One of the longest-serving members of the Southern College of Optometry faculty, he taught from 1969 through 2011.
Dr. Fors devoted his career to teaching optometry, working with children to help them overcome learning disabilities, and to helping bring sight to the disadvantaged in countries around the globe. After his 1969 graduation from SCO, he received the E.B. Alexander Fellowship to Gesell Institute of Child Development in 1970 and 1971. Dr. Fors later received his master’s degree in education from Memphis State University, where his emphasis focused on learning disabilities in children.
In 1989, he became a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). Dr. Fors was a charter member of the Mid-City Lions Club and served on the Board of Directors for the West Tennessee Lions Clubs Foundation. In 1986, he was named Mid-City Lions Club “Lion of the Year.”
He notably served as the long-time faculty advisor to Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH) at SCO since its inception in 1975. Under his leadership, SVOSH made more than dozens of trips to foreign countries in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. During his years, students in SVOSH performed more than 250,000 examinations and prescribed approximately more than 200,000 pairs of glasses, services valued conservatively at more than $16 million.
As faculty advisor and a charter member of SVOSH, Dr. Fors donated countless hours to organizing trips, preparing eyeglasses, working with Lions Clubs, helping students and ensuring that this organization’s mission of helping others succeeded year after year. He was a multiple recipient of the annual SVOSH Humanitarian Award.
In 2003, Dr. Fors was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Southern College of Optometry. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors SCO alumni who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and made outstanding contributions to the college and the profession of optometry. Following his retirement in 2011, Dr. Fors was named a Professor Emeritus by SCO’s Board of Trustees.
A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday, February 8, from 2-4 pm at the Shelby Farms’ Visitor’s Center. His family requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to one of the two SCO funds named in Dr. Fors’ honor: the SVOSH endowment fund or the Glen T. Steele, OD and L. Allen Fors, OD, Developmental Vision Endowment.Contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (800) 238-0180, ext. 4., or make a gift online at https://sco.sitewrench.com/givetosco. Select “other” as your category and enter the name of one of these two funds.
Many alumni and former colleagues of Dr. Fors have also left their remembrances on SCO’s Facebook page announcement of his passing. You may read these or add your comments here.