The Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University held its 111th commencement exercise on Thursday, May 21, at the Ernest A. Hutchinson Memorial Amphitheater on its Fullerton campus and conferred 96 Doctor of Optometry degrees, 47 residency certificates, one Master of Science degree as well as one honorary degree. University President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D., and SCCO Dean Stanley Woo, O.D., M.S., M.B.A., presided over the ceremony.
“This is a significant milestone for each graduate,” said Dr. Kevin Alexander. “All will be expected to render the highest quality care to their patients and also to become a leader in their community and profession. I congratulate each of my new colleagues and welcome them to the profession.”
Addressing the graduates was the President of the American Optometric Association David A. Cockrell, O.D. Dr. Cockrell has been instrumental in the expansion of the scope of optometric practice and privileges in the United States, including the inclusion of optometry in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. He delivered to the Class of 2015 a motivational address to the new doctors about to embark on their careers as optometrists.
“We are very proud to have Dr. Cockrell address the Class of 2015,” remarked Dr. Alexander. “He has dedicated so much to lay the groundwork for this class to do more in this profession than has ever before been possible. As a past AOA president, I know how much work that takes. I am also so proud of this class of graduates and all they are going to accomplish.”
Dr. Alexander then also conferred upon Dr. Cockrell the honorary degree - Doctor of Laws for recognition of his legislative service to the profession.
Martin H. Carroll, O.D., an alumnus of the college currently practicing in Wyoming, was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by SCCO Alumni Association President and fellow graduate and optometrist Dr. Charles C. Luu. Faculty then recognized 30 of the 47 Residents of the college who were in attendance; the remaining 17 Residents completing their 5th year of specialized education remain largely out-of-state. Immediately following, the college conferred its third-ever Master of Science degree in the field of Vision Science.
“The graduates this university yields continue to astound me,” said University Provost Morris S. Berman, O.D., M.S. “Our alumni all around the world continue to provide excellent patient care, sound research for our profession and strides for a career in optometry.”
Remarks were offered by class valedictorian Stephanie A. Makalintal, followed by the presentation of the Class of 2015 by SCCO Dean Stanley Woo, O.D., M.S., M.B.A. The ceremony closed with a reading of The Optometric Oath written by Richard L. Hopping, a past president of the university as well as a past president of the American Optometric Association.
“The traditions of excellence at SCCO were seen manifest today in our graduates,” stated Dean Woo. “I am so proud of each one of them. I am excited to see them navigate the changing landscape of health care as it becomes a collaborative practice environment now more than ever before. We are delighted to celebrate their achievements with family and friends, as they join the wonderful profession of optometry.”