Skip to content Skip to navigation

109 Dental Students Receive White Coats

Fourth-year dental student Tony Guinn helps Joe Fazzio into his white coat.

(Photo by Celia Alcumbrack-McDaniel)

First-year dental student Carlotta Fantin-Yusta is helped into her white coat by fourth-year dental student Sylvia Zannis.

(Photo by Celia Alcumbrack-McDaniel)

Michigan Dental Association President Dr. Martin Makowski delivered the keynote address.

(Photo by Celia Alcumbrack-McDaniel)

Ann Arbor, MI — August 7, 2014 — The Dental Class of 2018 was officially welcomed to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the dental profession during the School’s annual White Coat Ceremony held July 25 at Hill Auditorium.

The 109 students include 55 men and 54 women.  They represent 5.5 percent of 1,961 applicants who applied for admission.  

The first-year dental students are graduates of 13 colleges and universities in Michigan and 40 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada.  Ninety-five have a bachelor’s degree, nine have earned a master’s degree, one received a PhD, and three have completed more than three years of undergraduate education.

In his keynote address, Dr. Martin Makowski, president of the Michigan Dental Association, emphasized the importance of maintaining strong ethical standards when treating patients.  “Patients will trust you to do the right thing for them,” he told the new dental students.  Because the dental profession maintains high ethical standards, he said, “We at the Michigan Dental Association take very seriously our role in honoring our commitment to protect the public.”

The president of the Michigan Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Richard Nykiel, told dental students that, although their dental education is just beginning, continuing education “is necessary for your success in the profession of dentistry.”  Dr. Steven Sulfaro, regent of the Ninth District of the International College of Dentists, told students to be prepared for “hard work ahead, but the rigors of the School of Dentistry’s curriculum will prepare you for the future.”

Dr. Philip Richards, clinical professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, advised the Class of 2018 to be professional when treating patients, but also to develop connections that foster a relationships based on respect and trust.  “Both must be earned,” he said.

Dean Laurie McCauley congratulated the new dental students on being admitted to the School of Dentistry.  “You have a strong support system here to sustain you,” she said.  She advised them to stay positive and enthusiastic, look for opportunities, not to settle for just completing requirements, and to nurture a passion for learning.