Ole Miss graduate Royce Miles, Jr. is first recipient of optometry award

Published 6:00 am Sunday, August 20, 2017

MADISON, MS – Royce Miles, Jr., a 2015 graduate of the University of Mississippi, has been named the recipient of the Mississippi Vision Foundation’s first Helen Allison St. Clair scholarship for students of optometry.

“We are honored to have a young man with Mr. Miles’ commitment and passion for the profession of optometry as the first recipient of the St. Clair scholarship,” said Dr. Kimberly Ragan, president of the Foundation.

Miles, a third-year student at the Southern College of Optometry (SCO), is a graduate of Starkville High School, Itawamba Community College, and the University of Mississippi with a BA in Biology. At SCO he is a class representative, an officer for Omega Delta fraternity, a student ambassador and participates in a mentor program.

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“It is such an honor to be the recipient of the Helen St. Clair scholarship,” said Miles. “As a proud Mississippian and future optometrist, I cannot wait to some day return to our state to serve my future patients.”

Miles, the son of Van and Nancy Miles, was drawn to the profession by observing the strong patient-doctor relationship while he job shadowed Oxford optometrists, Dr. Michael Turner and Dr. William Strickland.

“It is a very gratifying profession,” he said. “It’s a beautiful thing to watch a child put on their first pair of glasses and see the world clearly for the first time.”

The Helen Allison St. Clair Optometry Scholarship was established to honor the memory of long-time Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA) Executive Director Helen Allison St. Clair. Mrs. St. Clair served the MOA for more than 28 years and had a passion for optometry students and doctors. Her family and friends want her passion and service to optometry to live on in the awarding of annual stipends from the scholarship established in her name at the Mississippi Vision Foundation.