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Southern College of Optometry (SCO) set a new college fundraising record after raising more than $3.3 million, according to an announcement released today to the college’s alumni and philanthropy partners.
Since formally launching the college’s “Envision Our Progress” campaign on March 2, 2012, the college raised $3,325,850, the most ever raised by an SCO campaign and the most ever raised in such a short time frame during the institution’s 81-year history.
With a $4 million goal, the five-year campaign was designed to support construction of the college’s new academic classroom facility currently under construction at the college’s midtown Memphis campus. The fundraising goal also includes support of the college’s student scholarship program and patient care initiatives to enhance the reach and quality of vision care in the Memphis community.
“We’re very proud of this accomplishment and the significant milestone that it represents in the history of our college,” said Dr. Jarrett Johnson, chair of the board of trustees at SCO. “Our alumni have responded to the challenge that we presented, because this effort will strengthen SCO’s presence as a leading college of optometry.”
Dr. Johnson also thanked partners in the ophthalmic community as well as in Memphis for their support. “We’re grateful to our industry partners for their support, and a number of Memphis area foundations have supported this effort to recognize the positive impact that SCO has made in the lives of more than 80,000 patients each year in the Memphis community.”
Support from the ophthalmic community has included the Marco Family Foundation, Alcon and Essilor of America. In Memphis, significant funding support has been provided by the Assisi Foundation and the Plough Foundation.
“The SCO community is humbled by the levels of generosity that we’ve seen,” said Dr. Richard W. Phillips, president. “We still have considerable work to do to reach our goal, but from our alumni to the ophthalmic industry and to key foundations here in Memphis, SCO is pleased that other partners share the vision for what we’ve set out to accomplish in our mission.”
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 nearly 80,000 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. For more information on SCO, please visit www.sco.edu.