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Southern College of Optometry (SCO) held its 28th annual Convocation ceremony on Friday, October 4 to honor achievement by SCO’s alumni, students, faculty and staff. First-year students were formally welcomed into the profession of optometry by receiving their white coats, signing SCO's Honor Code, and reciting the optometric oath.
Scholarships and other honors were awarded in recognition of academic excellence, leadership or service. Many student scholarships were made possible through the generous and consistent financial support of SCO alumni to the Annual Fund and Endowed Scholarship Fund. Among those recognized:
Military Services Scholarships
The following Endowed Class Scholarships recognize outstanding leadership and professionalism by members of the Classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016.
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.
Basic Science and Clinical Science Awards
Faculty of the Year (2012-2013)
BSK Teacher of the Year Awards:
Class of 2016:
Class of 2015:
Class of 2014
Burnett Faculty Recognition Award
Established by Charlene Burnett, OD ’83 and Fred Burnett, OD ’80, in recognition of an outstanding faculty member as selected by his or her peers:
Scott Ensor, OD ’01
Professor Emeritus Recommendation
James M. Newman, III, OD '73
Board of Trustees Resolution
Stephanie Lew, ’14
Lifetime Achievement Awards
U.S. Senator John Boozman, OD ’77, played football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks before attending SCO. After his graduation, he co-founded Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinics in Rogers, Arkansas and established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind. Following public service at the local level, he was elected in 2002 as the nation’s only optometrist in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2010, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, the highest office ever attained by an optometrist. He serves on a number of key committees and is still active in his support of optometry.
James M. Newman, III, OD ’73, received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Memphis before graduating from SCO 40 years ago. He began practicing full time and joined SCO’s faculty on a part-time basis before teaching full time in 1977. Rising to the rank of tenured professor,he taught Optometry Theory and Methods, among others, and was an active clinical presence in Adult Primary Care and Advanced Care Ocular Disease. In later years, Dr. Newman transitioned in serving as Director of Academic Support Services. He retired in June 2013 after 40 years of service to his alma mater.
Young Alumni Award
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Emily Sprague, OD ’04, graduated magna cum laude in 2004. Commissioned into the Navy, she served as the department head at the Optometry Clinic at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California before being assigned to Pearl Harbor. There, she advanced to Assistant Director for Administration at the Naval Health Clinic before completing a residency in Ocular Disease at the Baltimore V.A. In 2012, she was assigned to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the only full-time eye doctor of any discipline for the entire naval station.
Class of 2017 members who received their white coats:
View photos from Convocation on SCO’s Flickr page. A DVD of the ceremony may be ordered for $30 directly from Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church by calling (901) 722-6222.