After 42 years of service, James Marbourg, O.D., announced his retirement from the UAB School of Optometry.

“There will be a void that cannot be filled by any other method or manner,” Marbourg said as he spoke about working with the students. “I will miss the relationship formation and building process, and those with whom I would have had that process.”

Marbourg earned his Doctorate of Optometry from UAB in 1977. Upon graduating, he remained at the school 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. Since 1992, and until his retirement from the school, he served as an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor.

While instructing students at UABSO, he maintained a busy career outside the school. He worked in private practice from 1977 to 1992 when he became clinic director/regional vice president at Omega Health Systems Referral Center. There, he was responsible for operations at the ophthalmology-based physician practice management company. In 2001, Omega was acquired by Eye Health Partners. Thereafter he continued to serve as the regional vice president for Alabama and the executive vice president for the parent corporation. Since 2017 he has worked as director of optometric development at the SEES Group. Marbourg is concurrently retiring from UAB and SEES.

He is a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA), Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA), and Birmingham Area Optometric Society. He received the UABSO Alumnus of the year award in 1985 and 1994, Alabama Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year Award in 1990 and ALOA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Marbourg has been loyal to a life of hard work and great accomplishments. He plans on trying to stay healthy and spending more time with his wife while enjoying a life of retirement. Other goals are to golf and fish, while also acting as a business/resource counselor for UABSO students and graduates.

The long-time relationships he has developed with the students and watching them grow as young “Drs. to be” is what Marbourg said he enjoyed and would miss the most about his career at the School of Optometry. He stated that working with other faculty members to mold those students into well-trained and confident clinicians will be a memory long cherished.

“Dr. Marbourg’s contributions have made such a lasting impact on the School and the profession,” said Kelly Nichols, O.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., FAAO, dean of UABSO. “He not only taught over 40 years of students, but he built lasting relationships with them and guided them through their years here, and into their careers. We will forever be grateful and he will be truly missed.”