MEMPHIS, Tenn.—As part of its 2024 commencement on May 7, Southern College of Optometry (SCO) will recognize two alumni and one industry professional for their contributions to the field of optometry. SCO will bestow the following honors: doctor of ocular science: Fred Farias III, OD (class of 1987); doctor of humane letters: Dave Sattler (former SCO board trustee); and Lifetime Achievement Award: Barry Winston, OD (class of 1974). Lewis Reich, OD, Ph.D., president of Southern College of Optometry, said, “These three individuals have championed the evolution and progress of the optometric field in differing ways over the past several decades.

"They have put a lasting impression on our industry and have become inspiring figures to this year’s new group of optometrists entering the field. Southern College of Optometry is grateful for their contributions and we are grateful for the opportunity to bestow these honors upon them during our 2024 commencement.”

Dr. Farias, recipient of SCO’s doctor of ocular science, currently serves as chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is president and CEO of 20/20 Vision Care in McAllen, Texas. In addition to receiving his doctor of optometry from SCO in 1987, he is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received a master of science in clinical service operations from Harvard University. He has served as president of the Texas Optometric Association, which awarded him the Young OD of the Year and the OD of the Year Award, in addition to being named National Optometrist of the Year by the American Optometric Association. He also was a recipient of SCO’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

As recipient of SCO’s doctor of humane letters, Dave Sattler will deliver keynote remarks to the graduating students during the commencement. He previously served on the college’s board of trustees and retired from Alcon in 2014, after 28 years of service. During his time at Alcon, he served in many roles, including sales management and marketing activities for corporate optical chain accounts and optometry schools. His most recent position before retirement was director of professional relations, in which he oversaw academic development.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, to be given to Dr. Winston, is the highest honor bestowed by SCO. Dr. Winston graduated from SCO in 1974, continuing a legacy of family members graduating from the college. His father was a 1941 SCO graduate, his brother a 1967 SCO graduate and his son a 2011 graduate. He is a member of one of Tennessee’s longest practicing, multi-generational optometry families.

Collectively, the Winston family has provided optometry care for patients in Knoxville, Tenn., for more than 80 years. Prior to SCO, Dr. Winston attended the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis. He previously served as president of the East Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians and has held other community leadership positions at a number of Knoxville organizations.

SCO’s 2024 commencement ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 7, in Memphis, Tenn. Its class of 2024 has a total of 131 students hailing from 31 states.