Our Building's Namesake

J. Davis Armistead, O.D.


The life of Dr. J. Davis Armistead, our building's namesake, encompasses broad and significant accomplishments to the country, the optometric profession, the community and higher education.

A veteran of World War II, Dr. Armistead went on to establish a successful optometry practice in Lubbock. A firm believer in the importance of giving back, he served on a variety of civic, professional, service, and business boards and organizations, including membership in the prestigious National Academy of Practice, an advisory group to the U.S. Congress.

A champion and advocate for the profession of optometry, and higher education in Texas, Dr. Armistead's efforts on behalf of UHCO span five decades - from 1952, when the college was established, to the years 1971-1983 when the College of Optometry building was completed during his tenure as a UH System Regent, to the 1990's, when he served the college as President of the Foundation for Education and Research in Vision (FERV), through today as he remains actively involved in the life of the college and the optometric profession.

Armistead’s life encompassed broad and significant accomplishments to the country, the optometric profession, the community and higher education. Amid all this service, he established a successful optometry practice in Lubbock in 1948 until his retirement in 1991. Armistead is known as the “image maker” of Buddy Holly for the dark-rimmed glasses he prescribed and prepared for Holly, who was his patient from junior high up until the time of the rock star’s death in 1959. In September 1993, the UH College of Optometry Building was named the J. Davis Armistead Building in honor and recognition of his tireless and enduring efforts benefiting the college, the university and the profession.

Dr. Armistead passed away at the age of 98 survived by his wife Cora and their children.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

  • East Texas University
  • So. Cal College of Optometry

Texas Optometry Association Awards

  • Distinguished Service Award (Highest Award)
  • Bill Pittman Award
  • Optometrist of the Year
  • Presidential Citation
  • TOA Convention Dedicated to JDA

Awarded Life Membership in:

  • TOA
  • So. Pins Opt. Soc., AOA
  • Regent, University of Houston 1971 - 1983
  • P.Pres. Boy Scouts, So. Plains
  • P. Dist. Chm. Boy Scouts
  • P.Chm. City Board of Health
  • P.Pres. Lubbock Goodwill
  • P.Pres. Lubbock Rotary Club
  • P.Dist. Gov. Rotary #5730
  • Bd. Directors, Food Bank
  • Bd. Directors, Dehydration Plant
  • Bd. Society Prevent Blindness
  • P.Pres. Foundation for Education & Research in Vision
  • United Way
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • National Academics of Practice: Distinguished Practitioner

Special Awards

  • ROTARY: Paul Harris Fellow
  • SCOUTING: Silver Beaver
  • U of H: Volunteer of Year