Dr. J. Scott Gentry

Dr. J. Scott Gentry
Honorary Alumni

Many come to East Tennessee State University to earn college degrees, but few get the education the school gave Dr. J. Scott Gentry. Born in Johnson City, Tenn., in 1953 to long-time administrators and professors at ETSU, Gentry is a self-proclaimed “university brat,” as he spent his formative years on the school’s campus.

He attended and graduated from local schools and played a variety of varsity sports. Although he relocated to Wake Forest University to earn his therapeutic optometry undergraduate degree and went on to Memphis to earn his doctorate in Optometry, he returned to Johnson City in 1981 to open a private practice, which he operates to this day.

Dr. Gentry is a member of the Tennessee Optometric Association and the Northeast Tennessee Optometry Society, and has held executive board positions within these professional organizations. He has served as board member and chairman of the Johnson City Power Board. He has also served as vice chairman of the Economic Development Board, co-chairman of the American Heart Association Golf Tournament, and as a member of the executive board of the Sequoyah Council Boy Scouts of America.

Much of Dr. Gentry’s service, however, remains on the campus of ETSU. Having grown up at the university, having worked odd jobs on campus as a teenager, and even having helped build the football stadium, he understands very personally the role ETSU plays in the success of the local community.

As a result of this loyalty to the university, Dr. Gentry has dedicated much time, service, and money to ETSU. He is the one of the longest-serving current board member of the ETSU Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association and has held all executive positions within that board. He is a member of the ETSU Foundation, the Distinguished President’s Trust, the ETSU Committee of 1000, and the ETSU Sports Medicine staff.

In 2006, Dr. Gentry was recognized for his outstanding cumulative contribution to the ETSU Foundation with an induction into the Foundation’s Bronze Society. He has donated money to scholarship and memorial funds, athletics, and even to individual students who he’s known were in need of help. He has given his time and professional service voluntarily to the university in many ways. He has organized many ETSU-related volunteer events, and has remained a strong supporter of both men’s and women’s athletics.

Dr. Gentry is also a member of the First Presbyterian Church. His wife, Carol Holloway Gentry, is a teacher at Lake Ridge Elementary School in Johnson City. Dr. Gentry joins his sister in winning an award from the ETSU Alumni Association…Dr. Susan Gentry Williams was named ETSU’s Outstanding Alumna in 1986.  He has one daughter, Beth who is an ETSU student and his grandson, Brady, is his “best buddy” and a huge ETSU Bucs fan.


ETSU | Advancement | Alumni | Foundation | Contacts
Alumni Association · Box 70709 · Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-4218 ·