Like any endeavor worth pursuing in life, it takes careful preparation to become an optometrist.
Students are at the heart of our mission.
Get involved in our thriving alumni community.
SCO is one of the nation's leading optometry schools.
Take time to recognize these significant achievements.
Enter a search request and press enter. Press Esc or the X to close.
Southern College of Optometry formally began the next chapter in the institution’s 80-year history with a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, May 11, 2012 to mark the start of construction on the college’s $9.4 million academic expansion and renovation project.
Members of SCO’s Board of Trustees joined other campus representatives, invited guests and dignitaries and faculty and staff for the occasion held at the edge of the college’s patio. Guests included representatives of the ophthalmic industry, local government and from the Greater Memphis Chamber.
“Today we celebrate our legacy, the idea of vision, and the vision of ideas, looking beyond today’s horizons to prepare our institution to meet the challenges and responsibilities of tomorrow,” said Dr. Richard W. Phillips, SCO’s President.
“This commitment to service, to lifelong learning, and to educating the best healthcare providers possible – these are the ideals that we will continue to embrace in these new classrooms and educational facilities,” he added.
Dr. John “Bucky” Gazaway, SCO Board of Trustees Chair, recalled how SCO’s 11-story tower was being planned when he graduated 45 years ago. That same foresight and vision will benefit future students and graduates to the betterment of optometric education, he said.
“I’m grateful that SCO is meeting that challenge of looking ahead and doing what must be done to keep us great,” Dr. Gazaway said.
Representing the Student Government Association, Sam Johnson, ’13, expressed appreciation to the administration and faculty for seeking student input on how SCO’s academic facilities could be improved.
Faculty Representative Dr. Scott Ensor spoke for faculty and staff. “We feel that when completed, this new building will be a great asset to our academic program just the way The Eye Center has been to our clinical program,” he said.
Board member Dr. Jarrett Johnson is co-chairing the “Envision Our Progress” campaign to fund the project.
“I encourage each of you to think about what you can do to help see this project to fruition, both personally, and encouraging others to do the same,” she said.
“We’re in this profession together, and working together, we will do our part to get SCO to the next chapter that awaits our institution’s great future,” Dr. Johnson concluded.
When completed in the fall of 2013, the new building will replace SCO’s old classrooms with an additional 23,015 square feet of space. Work will also begin on renovating the first floor of the tower to create a new area of consolidated pre-clinical optometry labs and a Research Suite. Formus Inc., designed the project, and Linkous Construction Company is overseeing its construction.
Alumni and friend support is actively being sought to help fund the project. Learn more here about how you can make a difference in the "Envision Our Progress" campaign.
View photos from the ceremony in SCO's photo gallery.