Big Green Donors of the Week- Chris & Bill Ratcliff
For almost 20 years, the brothers have been providing the highest quality of eye care and equipment to Marshall student-athletes through the athletic department's medical gift-in-kind program.
March 11, 2014
Marshall Athletics is fortunate to have Drs. Bill and Chris Ratcliff - of Tri-State Eye Care -- in its pool of health care providers.
For almost 20 years, the brothers have been providing the highest quality of eye care and equipment to Marshall student-athletes through the athletic department's medical gift-in-kind program. This cost-free care has included physicals, checkups, emergency services, sports vision-related care, and eye wear. Despite the devastating 2007 fire that destroyed Ratcliff Place, they never wavered in their continuing support of Marshall Athletics. Both were inducted into the MU Sports Medicine Hall of Fame in 2010.
Education: Attended WVU from 1983-86, then attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis and graduated in 1990.
Family: Wife, Renee, is chief financial officer at Black Box Communications in Huntington; two daughters and a son -- Chandler is a freshman at Marshall. Ava is a freshman at Huntington High School. Isaac is a first grader at Southside Elementary School.
Occupation: Optometric Physician; currently practicing with my brother, Bill, at Tri-State Eye Care Center Ltd. on Fifth Avenue in Huntington.
Give us a little background on you: Bill and I took over as eye care providers to the Marshall Athletic Department in the mid-1990s through his connection with Dr. Jose Ricard, and as a result of the previous optometrist moving his practice outside the Huntington area. We have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to improve the vision of many of our student-athletes as well as many of the coaches and administrative staff within the department.
What is your favorite Marshall moment? Doug Chapman's game-winning touchdown in Clemson's "Death Valley" to kick off our undefeated season (1999). Since it occurred at the opposite end of the stadium from us, we actually were watching it on the Jumbotron, but nothing was much greater than being able to go on the field and grab a handful of their orange grass to stick in my pocket for the trip home.
Who is your favorite Marshall player? No. 32, J.T. Rembert. Our family initially got to know him through his playing days at Marshall, but the relationship grew significantly as he finished school, started his own family, and became an insurance professional in the Huntington community. His philanthropic work for the family of fallen teammate Johnathan Goddard spoke volumes about his heart and his untimely death was one that shook the hearts of all that knew him.
Why do you give to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation? Our donation is due in large part to what we can provide as eye care professionals. We love helping others and we love Marshall University. It seems unimaginable that we wouldn't combine the two.
Why did you give to the Vision Campaign? Marshall University is such an important part of the Huntington community. Improving facilities for MU Athletics will not only create a better environment for our student athletes, but will resonate into so many more opportunities to increase the spotlight on Huntington and its residents.
Education: Attended WVU from 1971-75, then attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis and graduated in 1979.
Family: Wife, Susan, is currently enjoying retirement from real estate and home decorating; two sons -- Phil and his wife reside in Columbus, Ohio, with their three children. Brandon also lives in Columbus, currently working as a computer software engineer.
Occupation: Optometric Physician; practicing with my brother, Chris, at Tri-State Eye Care Center Ltd. on Fifth Avenue in Huntington.
Give us a little back ground on you: Ever since dear Dr. Jose Ricard asked us to consider being the team eye doctors, we have gladly donated the time and money to provide the eye care to the nearly 400 student-athletes and staff and their families at Marshall University. The old adage of "Labor of Love" comes to mind except that it has been a "joy" to get to know and help so many fine folks that have been a part of the athletic program and, through the many years, we are proud to be included as the Optometric Physicians of the Marshall University Sports Medicine team. To have a successful team, it takes a lot of different people trying to do their best and we have just tried to do our part.
What is your favorite Marshall moment? The excitement and pride we shared with our family, friends, and the entire community upon Marshall winning the NCAA Division I-AA national championship in football.
Who is your favorite Marshall player? J.T. Rembert, because after watching him be such a team player with the Herd, then we saw him win over our hearts as he became like a member of our family and beloved part of our community. He wasn't a superstar on the field, but he became one in our hearts!
Why do you give to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation? We believe in the athletic department's ability to have a positive influence on the young men and women who come to Marshall University to play the sport that they love while receiving a college education. We know that funds are necessary for these scholarships and the support that is a part of it all and that it has a significant effect on our entire community and state.
Why did you give to the Vision Campaign? With the quality of people who have been and are currently a part of our program, then you have to know that with the funds and facilities, the sky's the limit!