Notable Alumnus


Jess Boyd Eskridge, PhD

Dr. Eskridge began his career in optometric education at the University of Houston College of Optometry, where he taught for four years. In 1958, he enrolled in the Graduate Program in Physiological Optics at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He then received two degrees from Ohio State--his Master of Science in 1959 and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1964.

Dr. Eskridge began his service on the Ohio State faculty in 1961 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1967. While at Ohio State, his “orthoptics oral exams” given at the end of the third year that had to be passed before students could progress on into the fourth year clinics were legendary! He left Ohio State in 1971 for a comparable faculty position at the Indiana University School of Optometry. He was at IU for only one year; and then moved to the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Optometry, where he was appointed Chair of the Optometry program in 1972 by that school’s founding Dean, Dr. Henry B. Peters. He served as Professor of Optometry and Chairman of the Department of Optometry at UAB for the remainder of his career and retired from there in 1990.

Scholarship was a hallmark of Dr. Eskridge's academic career. He published more than 70 articles and book chapters in the peer-reviewed literature areas of clinical optometry, binocular vision and strabismus, and glaucoma. Dr. Eskridge was also an early advocate of continuing optometric education for practicing optometrists and provided more than 400 courses to local societies, state, regional, and national optometric programs. He served as the Chair of the American Academy of Optometry's Ellerbrock Committee on Continuing Education for 24 years; for his unselfish devotion to the Academy, he received that organization’s Eminent Service Award in 1994. He had a great intellect, a positive attitude, and unlimited compassion to help others in their career development. Dr. Eskridge passed away in 2011.



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