SCO Raises $3.3 Million in One Year

SCO's new technologically advanced academic expansion will provide seating for 620 students.
SCO’s new technologically advanced academic expansion will provide seating for 620 students in one large auditorium, while also featuring many break-out rooms for smaller learning environments.

Memphis, TN – In an effort to reach its “Envision Our Progress” campaign goal, Southern College of Optometry (SCO) has already raised $3.3 million in just one year. The financial support is mainly directed towards funding a $9.4 million academic building expansion, however, the campaign also has two other directives, which are to increase student scholarship opportunities and enhance patient care and clinical resources. The private college of optometry aims to gather $4 million over a five-year timeline and is already at 80% of this goal. By setting a college fundraising record, the college now projects to achieve its goal by 2014 – much sooner than expected.

Funding comes from many different groups. The Assisi Foundation donated $250,000 in November, while the Plough Foundation contributed $300,000 in September. SCO’s industry partners that have contributed include Marco Family Foundation, Alcon, and Essilor of America. Additionally, SCO would not remain a top tier optometry school without ongoing support from alumni.

I have a unique standpoint on this article, as I am a student ambassador and AOSA Trustee-Elect for SCO with plans to graduate in 2016. It speaks volumes to the school when such a vast amount of entities – from industry and alumni alike – generously donate to the school. With their confidence in the leadership of the school, we are one step closer to creating the most profound learning and teaching environment in the nation. I am so pleased to attend and proud to represent a school whose focus is always on raising the standard of students’ success.  I believe these renovations will not only increase the passage rate on boards for SCO students, but also enable us to fully learn and practice optometric theory and techniques for our professional lives.

“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.”

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