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The Dean’s Distinguished Service Award acknowledges leadership and service to the community and the optometry profession. Two individuals were honored during the 2023 Convocation and Hooding Ceremony: Don McCurdy, MD, and Jim Marbourg, OD.

Marbourg is an alumnus, a teacher, and a mentor to many, including our current faculty and alumni. He earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from UAB in 1977. Upon graduating, Marbourg remained as a clinical assistant instructor, part of the Clinical Evaluation of the Visual System (CEVS) faculty. He also served as the coordinator for the Practice Management course for several years. From 1992, until he retired from the school, he served as an associate clinical professor.

In 2019, Marbourg concurrently retired from the School and VisionAmerica/Eye Health Partners after 41 and 27 years, respectively, following a health scare. Many have said that Marbourg had a significant impact on their learning in optometry school and their careers once they entered the workforce.

“We are forever grateful for Dr. Marbourg’s immeasurable past and present contributions to the school and the optometry profession,” said Dean Kelly Nichols.

McCurdy, proved to be a friend to the UAB School of Optometry. As an ophthalmologist, he was a supporter of optometry as a profession and appreciated its role in the continuum of eye and vision care.

In addition to supporting the profession, McCurdy contributed to optometry students’ education through the years. He is a recognized specialist in medical and surgical diseases of the anterior segment of the eye with a focus on cataracts, corneal transplants, and procedures for glaucoma.

For more than 25 years, students and patients benefitted from his knowledge as he provided surgical consults for UAB Eye Care patients twice a month. He passed his knowledge and experience on to optometry students and residents along the way.

“I want to thank Dr. McCurdy for his contributions to the educational experience at the school and to the quality of patient care provided in our clinic,” Nichols said.