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Sandefur Honored with Honorary Degree

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Sandefur Honored with Honorary Degree

Dr. James D. Sandefur, who recently retired as the longtime Executive Director of the Optometry Association of Louisiana, was selected to receive Southern College of Optometry’s (SCO) honorary degree this year.

Dr. Sandefur was chosen to receive the honorary Doctor of Ocular Science degree in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession. A 1965 SCO graduate, he previously served on the college’s Board of Trustees, including a term as Board Chair. During his Board service, he co-chaired the fundraising campaign that led to the construction of SCO’s academic complex completed in 2013.

Following his graduation from SCO, Dr. Sandefur founded The Vision Clinic in Oakdale, Louisiana, where he provided care for more than 30 years before selling his practice. He was one of the first optometrists in Louisiana to serve on a hospital staff.

In 1997, he was named Executive Director of the Optometry Association of Louisiana. Under his leadership, membership in the state’s association doubled. His leadership helped secure passage of numerous bills that help optometrists better serve their patients. He retired from his Executive Director role in 2021.

He has served on numerous committees for the AOA and received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. He also has been honored by Southwest Council of Optometry for his leadership and received SCO’s Lifetime Achievement Award in. In 2017, he was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame.


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