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Southern College of Optometry’s Dr. Betty Harville Retires

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Southern College of Optometry’s Dr. Betty Harville Retires

Longtime SCO Professor Betty Harville, OD, retired in August after 36 years of service to optometric education. During her time at SCO, she was estimated to have taught nearly 5,000 optometry students.

A reception was held on August 25 to honor Dr. Harville. Joined by a small group of her family and close friends, Dr. Harville was honored with a virtual reception as the SCO community watched remotely.

Special guests also spoke via the internet, including Drs. Sherrol Reynolds, NOA President, Ed Marshall, Past NOA President, and Vera Burns, who was Dr. Harville’s roommate at Indiana University.

Janice Frazier-Scott from SCO’s Human Resources Department presented Dr. Harville with a couple of special proclamations in her honoring, including one from the NAACP-Memphis Branch in recognition of Dr. Harville’s historic status as the first Black woman optometrist in Tennessee and the first Black woman to achieve the full rank of Professor at any of the nation’s optometry colleges.

SCO President Lewis Reich, OD, PhD, recounted Dr. Harville’s popularity with students who benefited from her communications teaching related to patient care, while Dr. Bart Campbell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, shared an early newspaper clipping from Dr. Harville’s high school graduation as valedictorian when she aspired to become an accountant.

In addition to retirement gifts, Dr. Harville was surprised with an announcement by Mark Kapperman, OD ’87, and his son, Conner Kapperman, OD ’20, as the Kapperman family will be establishing an endowed scholarship in Dr. Harville’s honor. Look for additional details to be shared soon about how alumni and friends can support this effort.

Dr. Harville’s retirement also brought local and national media coverage, including interviews for press stories about her contributions to the profession of optometry.


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