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We hope you enjoy this short video below highlighting what was certainly a year to remember:
Southern College of Optometry is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of The Commercial Appeal Top Workplaces.The Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. The employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement.
WorkplaceDynamics conducts regional Top Workplaces programs with 40 major publishing partners across the United States. Over the past year, more than 5,000 organizations and 1 in every 88 employees in the U.S. have turned to WorkplaceDynamics to better understand what’s on the minds of their employees. Through its workplace improvement offerings, WorkplaceDynamics provides solutions, training and tools to help clients improve their workplace.
Founded in Memphis in 1932, Southern College of Optometry is one of the nation’s leading optometry colleges. In addition to being named to the Top Workplaces list, SCO also was recognized for the greatest employee satisfaction with benefits among all the organizations surveyed in Memphis.
The college is an active member of the Memphis educational and medical communities. More than 60,000 patients receive their eye and vision healthcare each year from The Eye Center at SCO, the college’s public clinical facilities. The college also works with a number community partners to expose interns to service learning and provide care through vision screenings and other outreach efforts.
“This is a great testament to the quality of our benefits program and the pride that our employees take in SCO and our mission,” said SCO President Dr. Richard W. Phillips. “Thanks to everyone for their support that resulted in this public recognition of the college.”
The Commercial Appeal published the complete list of Top Workplaces on December 8.
Dr. Richard W. Phillips, president of Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., has been appointed to the board of trustees at Milligan College in East Tennessee. With strong family ties to Milligan College and a graduate of the school himself, Dr. Phillips returns with excitement and pride to serve as a board member.
“I believe that having a superior educational experience provided in a faith-based environment contributed to my successes in life,” Dr. Phillips said. “I owe a great deal to Milligan, and I look forward to serving as trustee, which provides me with an opportunity to give back to my alma mater that gave so much to me.”
Prior to his academic career, Dr. Phillips worked for nearly 20 years as an optometrist in private practice. He formed Tennessee’s first optometry/ophthalmology partnership at the John Wilson Eye Clinic in Johnson City, Tenn., before taking over as executive director at TriCities Laser Center, a subsidiary of TLC Laser Eye Centers, in 1996.
Dr. Phillips was named president of SCO in 2007. He is a trustee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He currently serves on the executive committee for the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and on the board of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.
Dr. Phillips is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Additionally, he is a member of the Academic Affairs Committee for the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the Executive Committee of the Tennessee College Association. He previously served as past president for the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, the Academy of Tennessee Optometry Physicians and SECO International. In 1998, he was named Tennessee Optometrist of the Year.
Dr. Phillips graduated from Milligan College in 1974 and Southern College of Optometry in 1978. Outside of his professional career, Phillips serves the faith-based community of Collierville Christian Church in Collierville, Tenn., as a chairman of the board.
Southern College of Optometry was established in Memphis, Tenn., in 1932. SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with more than 500 students and residents from 40 states. The Eye Center at SCO serves more than 60,000 patients annually, helping make the college one of the top in the nation for clinical optometric education. SCO’s Community Outreach Program reaches more than 12,000 children through vision screenings provided annually to Shelby County students in public, private and charter schools. SCO additionally operates University Eyecare, a full service clinic on the campus of the University of Memphis.
Alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students and their families gathered on Friday, October 4 as the college formally dedicated its academic facility. Completed after more than two years of planning and construction, the $9.4 million facility adds 23,016 square feet to SCO’s campus.
Representing SCO’s most ambitious undertaking since the construction of The Eye Center in 2002, the new building’s classrooms feature a capacity of nearly 700 with break-out rooms. In addition to the new classrooms, the complex also includes an atrium and grand hall, new
pre-clinical laboratories, research suites, faculty offices, study nooks
and other improvements.
Leading the dedication ceremony was SCO President Richard W. Phillips, OD ’78. Also officiating were SCO Board Chair Jarrett Johnson, OD ’90, former Board member and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, son-in-law of Norman Stringer, OD ’49.
Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were SCO President Emeritus William E. Cochran, OD ’68, Immediate Past Board Chair John A. Gazaway, OD ’67, and Martha Rosemore Morrow, OD ’74, Alumni Council Representative to the Board. Representatives of the faculty, staff and students included Faculty Representative Scott Ensor, OD ’01, Stephanie Lew, ’14, Jigna Patel, ’15, and two of SCO’s longest-serving staff members, Sadie Fleming, Physical Plant staff member of 41 years, and Velma Dickson, Student Services Staff Member of 39 years.
Prior to the dedication ceremony, the NBC TV affiliate in Memphis toured the facility, and the ceremony was covered by the local Fox station as well as print publications. SCO’s building project was funded by a five-year $4 million capital campaign. As of November 2013, the college had surpassed the $3.7 million fundraising mark, making this one of its most successful fundraising campaigns in the school’s history. Major donors were recognized with signs noting named areas throughout the new complex.
If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities to help us finalize the capital campaign in support of our new academic facility, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement to discuss opportunities to make a gift. Call (901) 722-3216 make a gift online through SCO's website.