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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.