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Southern College of Optometry's 2016 Convocation ceremony recognized the achievements of students, alumni, faculty, and staff with several awards and recognition presented. Of special note, the Class of 2020 gathered for its official white coat group portrait.
Receiving SCO's Lifetime Achievement Award - the highest honor bestowed by the college - was Joel Zaba, OD '69, FAAO. Dr. Zaba was honored for his extensive research, publications, and efforts to help establish the connections between learning and vision.
Members of SCO's Class of 1966 were also recognized as they returned for their 50-year reunion during Fall Homecoming and Continuing Education Weekend. Each attendee was presented a 50-year commemorative diploma.
Scholarships and other awards were presented to attendees from throughout the SCO campus community. Many of SCO's student awards and scholarships were made possible by the generosity of the college's alumni and friends who support the Annual Campaign and Endowed Scholarship funds.
Among those recognized:
Military Service Scholarships
Basic Science and Clinical Awards
The following Endowed Class Scholarships recognized outstanding leadership and professionalism by members of the Classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Alumni and Friends Scholarships
SCO alumni and friends generously support and recognize academic accomplishments and leadership within the student body. As such, the following endowed scholarships and awards have been established in support of SCO students.
State and Professional Associations
Corporate Partners and Ophthalmic Industry
2015-16 Faculty of the Year
CLASS OF 2017
Class of 2018
CLASS OF 2019
BSK TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
View photos from the event in SCO's photo galleries.
Southern College of Optometry formally welcomed the Class of 2020 into the profession of optometry with a white coat ceremony on Monday, August 29. More than 500 family, friends, and faculty members were on hand to witness each student receive his or her white coat (generously provided by Marchon) and sign SCO's honor code.
Officiating were Dr. Lewis Reich, SCO President, Dr. J. Bart Campbell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. James Venable, Vice President for Clinical Programs, Joe Hauser, Vice President for Student Services, and Mary Nethaway Chase, '18, Student Government Association President.
The Class of 2020 includes 136 students who were selected from 877 applicants. The class recorded an average grade point average of 3.53 and an average 328 score on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). Their addition to the SCO student body brings SCO's number of full-time students to 531, the most since 1982.
During the ceremony, 33 students were recognized for receiving scholarships, including:
Destiny McDuffie, Brian Post, A.J. Barbiero
Alison Moore, Kate Keefer, Jhaleil Phillips, Trevor Shealy
Rachel Newland, Madelyn Mullally, Jared Freedman
Cori Jones, Al’Tiana Watson, Katie Hardy
Jacob Smith, Jake Weber, Katie Stuckey
Callie Mashburn, Melissa Pongratz, Michaela Sasse, Emily Scully
Kelci Glover, Erin Neal, Alyssa Invergo, Kristen Purdy
Matt Meredith, Torrie Garner, Jordan Dravitzki
Annie Wester, Leslie Cline, Stephanie Ross, Christy Alfano
Rachel Werner, Anna Fuller
A video recording of the ceremony may be viewed via SCO's YouTube channel:
View photo gallery coverage of the ceremony and post-reception.
SCO Board of Trustees Chair Steven T. Reed, OD '95, of Magee, Mississippi, was recently elected to the American Optometric Association (AOA) Board of Trustees. The election took place at the AOA's annual meeting in Boston.
"We are honored to have a man with Dr. Reed's commitment and outstanding service to the profession of optometry as a member of the Board," said Dr. Greg Loose, Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA) president. "He has a passion for the profession of optometry but beyond that, he has a passion to make a difference in the lives of others."
As a community and professional leader he is a past president of the MOA, the Southwest Optometric Society, the Magee Chamber of Commerce, and the Magee Lion's Club. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Southern College of Optometry and Mississippi Trustee to the SECO International Board. In 2010, he was named Mississippi's Optometrist of the Year.
For nearly 20 years, Dr. Reed has helped organize eye screenings at Magee Elementary and Magee Middle School. He also helped coordinate the first annual Glaucoma Awareness Day in Magee and the first annual Mac McCarty Lions Club Golf Tournament to raise funds for glasses and eye care services for the underserved of Simpson County.
Dr. Reed graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Magna Cum Laude from Southern College of Optometry as a Doctor of Optometry.
He and his wife Kendra are active members of Goodwater Baptist Church where he serves as deacon. Dr. Reed has two children, Calder and Emily.
Dr. Linday Elkins, Southern College of Optometry Assistant Professor, was recently named the college's Director of Academic Programs.
The Director of Academic Programs is responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective implementation of the college's academic programs, with emphasis on the didactic and laboratory components of SCO's curriculum.
In her new role, Dr. Elkins reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and works closely with The Eye Center's Chief of Staff and the Faculty Curriculum Committee.
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:
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.
Click here to view our Inauguration photo galleries on Flickr.