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The Class of 2021 celebrated its commencement on Tuesday, May 4 at FedEx Forum. SCO worked with the sports arena to welcome graduates, a limited number of guests, and faculty members for a physically distanced ceremony.
Samantha Harris was named Class Valedictorian, while Samantha Lee was Salutatorian. Class President Marie Huegel spoke for the entire class in saluting our graduates’ commitment to seeing commencement day in person. The class selected John Mark Jackson, OD ’99, as Teacher of the Year.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland encouraged the graduates to embrace their future confident that they’ve successfully demonstrated their ability to meet life’s challenges head-on through service. Mayor Strickland received an honorary degree, along with Joyce Urbeck, retired Director of the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.
In lieu of hosting a separate Senior Awards Ceremony, graduates were honored during the ceremony with recognition of outstanding and academic clinical achievements. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, more than $60,000 in awards were presented. Below is a list of the awards presented:
NATIONAL BOARD OF EXAMINERS PART II AWARD ($1,000)
LUCY KATHERINE BONE ORGAIN AWARD ($1,000)
CHRISTINE AND GEORGE DUCOTE, OD ’40 SCHOLARSHIP ($500)
ESSILOR LABS OF AMERICA AWARD ($500)
BAUSCH & LOMB ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP ($500)
JOHNSON & JOHNSON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN CONTACT LENS PATIENT CARE ($500 and Plaque)
GP LENS INSTITUTE CONTACT LENS CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD (Gas Permeable Diagnostic Lens Set and Plaque)
X-CEL CONTACTS OUTSTANDING GP FITTING AWARD (Atlantis Scleral Diagnostic Kit)
SOUTHWEST CONTACT LENS SOCIETY ($1,500)
KATENA/EAGLE VISION AWARD (Super Eagle Practice Builder’s Kit)
KATENA/EAGLE VISION AWARD (Arita Meibomian Gland Expressor)
KATENA/EAGLE VISION AWARD (Diamond Series Lenses with Carrying Case)
NOIR MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES LOW VISION AWARD (NoIR Eyewear for low vision)
ESCHENBACH OPTIK LOW VISION AWARD (Video Magnifier with an HD Camera)
DESIGNS FOR VISIONS, INC. WILLIAM FEINBLOOM LOW VISION AWARD (Trial Set and Plaque)
OPTELEC EXCELLENCE IN LOW VISION AWARD (Optelec Low Vision Starter Kit)
ALCON CASE STUDY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD ($1,000)
SOUTHERN COUNCIL OF OPTOMETRISTS CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD ($1,000)
Malena Landon Erickson
DR. BERNARD L. KAHN MEMORIAL ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP ($2,000)
Ye Ji Kim
NATIONAL VISION, INC. AWARD ($1,000)
DR. MOHAMMAD RAFIEETARY ACADEMIC AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD ($1,000)
GOOD-LITE AWARD (Pediatric Vision Testing and Evaluation Products)
COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRISTS IN VISION DEVELOPMENT EXCELLENCE IN VISION THERAPY (Plaque, 1st year associate membership free, and meeting registration credit)
GLEN T. STEELE, OD AND L. ALLEN FORS, OD DEVELOPMENTAL VISION SCHOLARSHIP Given in honor of Glen T. Steele, OD ’69 and the late L. Allen Fors, OD ’69. ($1,000)
OPTOMETRIC EXTENSION PROGRAM CLINICAL CURRICULUM AWARD (Complimentary Registration and 5-day Course)
Given in memory of former faculty member, Robert L. Henry, OD. Selected by the clinical faculty on the basis of overall exemplary clinical performance during senior year. ($1,000 and Plaque)
BURNETT ENDOWED AWARD FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN RESEARCH Established by Charlene Burnett, OD ’83 and the late Fred Burnett, OD ’80. ($1,000)
SUSAN GRISSOM MEMORIAL ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
SECO PAST PRESIDENTS ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
BEAU WILLIS ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
DR. DAVID P. SLOAN MEMORIAL AWARD ($500)
BAYS FAMILY ENDOWED SERVICE AWARD ($500)
SOUTHWEST COUNCIL OF OPTOMETRY ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
CLASS OF 1967 MEMORIAL ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
Casey Krug and Lauren Watson
MARK J. MURPHY ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
SPARROW, EVANS, AND WAYMON ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP ($1,000)
DR. SIDNEY EDELSTEIN ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
Anna Katherine Lansdell
WINSTON FAMILY ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
TOM AND LOUIS HYDE SCHOLARSHIP ($2,000)
WILLIAM DICKERSON, JR. OD SCHOLARSHIP ($1,000)
DR. FRED H. MOTHERSHED ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
HALPERN FAMILY ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
Alexis Williams Smith
DR. JAMES D. SANDEFUR ENDOWED AWARD ($1,000)
Rachel Briggs and Andrew Leto
SPIVEY FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP ($1,000)
EUROPA EYEWEAR AWARD (30 Starter Frames)
THE SOUTHEAST VT FORUM SCHOLARSHIP In memory of Dr. Sam Horner Jr. and in honor of W.C. Maples, OD ’68. ($1,000)
STEREO OPTICAL CO., INC. (Borish Vectrograhic Near Point Card)
KEVIN ROGERS, OD ’08 PRACTICE MANAGEMENT AWARD ($500)
The ceremony was recorded and is available for viewing on SCO’s YouTube page, the senior class video.
You may also view a PDF of the program here.
Click here for the full Flickr Gallery for Commencement Week 2021