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New England College of Optometry Names President Emeritus

He’s spent 50 years in service to the college.




New England College of Optometry Names President Emeritus

(PRESS RELEASE) BOSTON, MA – New England College of Optometry announces that former President Clifford Scott, OD, has been appointed with the title of president emeritus. The honor comes in recognition of his accomplishments during a decade of leadership and 50 years of service to the college.

Pano Yeracaris, MD, MPH, Board of Trustees chair for New England College of Optometry, noted, “Dr. Scott has been associated with the New England College of Optometry for his entire 50 year stellar career, serving as president from 2009 to 2018. During the last 10 years, Dr. Scott, with visionary leadership, has guided NECO to continued excellence in strengthening our unique clinical and academic programs. The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to bestow the emeritus title to Dr. Scott at the December 5th 2018 meeting to recognize the vital contributions he has made through the years.”

Scott served as the 12th president of the college from 2009-2018.

“His spirit of innovation helped shape a curriculum and clinical program for NECO’s graduates to be successful in the tumultuous world of health care reform,” the college stated.

Scott was instrumental in implementing the clinical campus concept where all of NECO’s clinical functions — patient care, learning and clinical research — are brought together under one roof, sharing space and incorporating high-tech instrumentation. The final phase of this clinical campus was completed earlier this year with the opening of NECO’s student clinical training center.

“Dr. Scott has been a positive presence at the College for over 50 years, serving as a member of the faculty, as dean, and as president,” said former President Alan Lewis. “As unpretentious as he is capable, he embraced the long tradition of valuing NECO as a family and community rather than just as a workplace. Above all, he was dedicated to the welfare and the professional success of the students. This signal honor recognizes his many contributions to the College and to the profession as well as the deep respect with which he is held by his colleagues.”


Former president Larry Clausen said, “President Scott stands as one of NECO’s greatest champions of the College and leaves a legacy of exceptional service to both the college and the optometric profession. Throughout his fifty-year career, he was an ever-present, positive influence on the college’s advancement. It was fitting that he was named president in 2009; it is fitting that he is to be honored as president Emeritus in 2018.”

During his tenure as president, Scott worked as a community leader, building partnerships locally, nationally and internationally. James T. Brett, president and CEO of The New England Council notes, “Dr. Scott’s contributions over five decades of service to the New England College of Optometry have left behind an incredible legacy, and I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor this remarkable leader than by naming him President Emeritus.”

Throughout his 50 years in the profession, Scott also worked tirelessly to advocate for optometry. Executive Director Jay Gardiner, Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, said, “Dr. Clifford Scott’s inclusive leadership style and forward thinking vision of optometry has profoundly advanced the profession. Dr. Scott has played an influential role shaping the future impact of optometry at both a state and national level.”

“Dr. Scott’s entrepreneurial spirit has helped mold and change the profession for the better during his time as professor, department chair, academic dean and president,” said Professor Bina Patel, faculty chair and director of international programs at NECO. “Throughout his career, he strengthened our relationships with community partners, pushed for optometric legislation on a state and national level, helped establish optometry within the VAMC (Veteran’s Administration Medical Center) system, and supported the wider scope of optometry internationally. While helping to advance the profession, he also remained a huge advocate for students at the College.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to help lead the College in becoming a such a dynamic institution that produces knowledgeable, caring optometrists fully prepared for success in the rapidly changing world of health care,” said President Emeritus Clifford Scott. “It is personally very gratifying that Dr. Howard Purcell was selected to accelerate that momentum with the support of the NECO community. I’m truly honored by the Board of Trustees’ recognition and will continue to be a resource for the College.”

Current President Howard Purcell said, “The impact Dr. Scott (Scotty) has had on NECO is far reaching and significant. His legacy is only surpassed by his passion for the profession and for every graduate that has been part of the NECO family. We are forever indebted to his unwavering support and countless contributions. We look forward to his continued contributions to the Board of Trustees, the College leadership, and the faculty in years to come.”




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