Inauguration | Southern College of Optometry
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The Inauguration of
Lewis Reich, OD, PhD

Lewis Reich, OD, PhD, was formally inaugurated as the seventh president to lead Southern College of Optometry during a ceremony held on Friday, May 13, 2016 at the institution's midtown Memphis campus.

The SCO community welcomed more than 300 visitors, including representatives from other optometry colleges, local institutions of higher learning, representatives of the ophthalmic industry, and other invited guests. 

In his introduction, SCO Board of Trustees Chair Steven Reed, OD '95, congratulated Dr. Reich on earning the trust and respect of SCO's Board during nine months that Dr. Reich served as interim president before officially being named by the board to the position in a permanent capacity.

A number of representatives delivered greetings from their respective constituencies, including the local and academic communities, alumni, students, family, and faculty/staff. In her remarks representing faculty/staff, Dr. Aaron Kerr, Faculty Chair, announced that more than $27,000 had been raised to create a new scholarship in Dr. Reich's honor, with approximately $23,000 donated by faculty members to support the effort.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Reich outlined three top priorities for the college's future:

  • Making SCO a top school of choice for the best qualified students,
  • Ensuring good stewardship of the college's financial resources to help control student expenditures, particularly in light of increasing student debt at the undergraduate level, and
  • Working to enhance SCO's reputation within Memphis and the newly formed Memphis Medical District Collaborative effort.

The ceremony concluded with SCO President Emeritus Billy Cochran, OD '68, leading the optometric oath for the optometrists in attendance. 

Following the ceremony, a luncheon was held on campus with seven food trucks and live entertainment selected to offer guests a sampling of food and music popular in Memphis. A reception in Dr. Reich's honor was also held the evening prior as part of the inaugural festivities.

To read more about Dr. Reich's background and the event, a copy of the inaugural program may be read online here.

Photo galleries will be made available soon.