Emeritus Alumni Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Graduation
Twenty graduates of the Dental Class of 1964 and two alumnae of the Dental Hygiene Class of 1964 returned to Ann Arbor to celebrate the golden anniversary of their graduation from the School of Dentistry during Homecoming Weekend in late October.
“Welcome home,” Dean Laurie McCauley said to the emeritus alumni, their spouses and others, at the start of the three-day celebration Thursday, October 30. “You set the stage for our students who have some very big shoes to fill, your shoes,” she said. “You made a lasting impression on dentistry.” McCauley also spoke about recent achievements of our students and faculty in education, research and discovery, and community service.
Medallion, Pinning Ceremony
Each dental and dental hygiene graduate was called by name and received an emeritus medallion and pin celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation in a ceremony in the Kellogg Auditorium. The venue was fitting since, as students, the graduates heard many lectures there. Renovations to the auditorium were completed in early 2013.
After Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, associate dean for Academic Affairs, placed the medallion around their neck, each graduate was personally congratulated by McCauley before receiving their emeritus pin. Following the ceremony, class photos of both groups were taken.
Wowed by the Preclinic
“It’s fantastic. I wish I was fifty years younger,” Dr. Bruce Foote (DDS 1964) said with a smile after seeing the Dr. Roy Roberts Preclinical Laboratory for the first time.
“It’s so different, and so much better, compared to when I was a dental student,” Foote said as he talked about how he and other dental students would huddle around an instructor demonstrating a procedure. If a student couldn’t see the procedure being demonstrated, he or she would later ask the instructor to demonstrate it to them.
The preclinic, which has been used since January 2004, has 110 workstations. A computer at each workstation allows first- and second-year dental students opportunities to watch clinical instructors demonstrate various dental procedures using the Internet, DVDs, 35 millimeter slides and other media. Students also have access to components of the electronic patient record system. Beneath each desktop is a mannequin head attached to a platform that students can pull out and pivoted right or left to simulate a patient’s position for any type of dental procedure.
“Being here brought back so many great memories of my days as a dental student,” Foote said. “I’m proud to have been a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. If not for this school, I would not have had the success that I have had in life. That is why I gladly give financially to the school’s fundraising campaigns. I believe in helping those who will follow, and challenge my classmates to give back as a way of repaying for their successes.”
Dr. Kamal Asgar Inducted into Hall of Honor
“His name was synonymous with dental materials. At the height of his career, he was recognized as the premier metallurgist in the world,” said Dr. Andrew Koran of his friend, Dr. Kamal Asgar, who was inducted into the School’s Hall of Honor.
Asgar was a researcher and taught at the School of Dentistry for nearly 30 years. His research focused on metals, casting and porcelain bonding and finding ways to apply his discoveries in a clinical environment. Asgar was 89 when he passed away in 2012.
Koran, who retired as a professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences in 2000, said of Asgar, “If not for him, I probably never would have pursued a lifetime of teaching and research.”
Established in 2003, the Hall of Honor recognizes and honors the achievements of legends of the dental profession, all deceased, who once were associated with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Nominees must have been a graduate of the dental, dental hygiene, master’s, or doctoral program and/or a faculty member, and/or a research staff member at U-M.
Distinguished Service Awards to Jones, Grover
The School’s Alumni Society Board of Governors honored Drs. Lee Jones and Jane Grover with the Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1985, the award recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed outstanding service either to the School or the profession of dentistry.
Dr. Lee Jones
After earning his dental degree from U-M in 1961, Jones opened a private practice in Ann Arbor and later became an adjunct lecturer at the School of Dentistry. He is most remembered for serving as the school’s director of minority affairs for more than 25 years. He retired in 1997.
His daughter, Dr. Karen-Lee Jones Stewart, joined him in private practice after earning her dental degree from U-M in 1994. Recalling her days as a dental student at Michigan, she said, “my classmates often called him ‘the godfather’ because of his demeanor.”
Before receiving his award, Jones said it was “a great honor” to be introduced by his daughter. “I have been very blessed to be at the School of Dentistry, as a student, an instructor, and director of minority affairs,” he said. “Nearly sixty after beginning my dental studies, I can still say, ‘I love dentistry’.”
Dr. Jane Grover
Grover received her dental degree from U-M in 1979 and a master’s degree in public health in 1988.
Introducing her, Dr. Josef Kolling, an adjunct clinical associate professor in the Department of Prosthodontics, said Grover’s career “is notable for her service to the dental profession and her leadership.”
After graduating from U-M, Grover became dental director for the Jackson County Health Department. She was a private practitioner in Jackson and Buchanan, Michigan (1982-2001), director of the Center for Family Health in Jackson (2001-2013), a Northeast Regional Board Dental examiner (2007 to present), and director of the American Dental Association’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations since 2013.
Grover has also served on State Board of Dentistry, the Health Plans Advisory Council, the Dental Medicaid Task Force, and a consultant to the Michigan Department of Community Health.
A continuing dental education course for alumni and other dental professionals was held Friday and featured two lectures by a prominent School of Dentistry graduate.
Dr. Sreenivas Koka (DDS 1989, MS prosthodontics 1991) executive director of the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation in Zurich, Switzerland, spoke during the morning on Systemic Disease Influencing Successful Implant Treatment. In the afternoon he presented another lecture, Lessons in Management: How to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Practice Team.
Friday evening, nearly 200 graduates and spouses from dental and dental hygiene classes who graduated in years ending in 4 and 9 attended the Homecoming Gala at the Michigan Union Ballroom.