This is an exciting time of the year as we welcome our incoming students and residents, as well as new faculty and staff to the Pacific Dugoni family. With our unique accelerated schedule, we start our new academic year much earlier than other universities, so our “back to school” season starts in July.

I would like to wish the very best to our newest students and their families, friends and other supporters who will be working with them behind the scenes to make their dental experience a success. It was a pleasure to see some of our students’ family members during our orientation luncheon held recently at the school.

The beginning of the new academic year also features some hallmark events. On the first Friday of the new quarter, several local members of the school’s Alumni Association cook all day long and host an annual Cioppino Dinner for new students. This is a tradition that goes back to 1988 and demonstrates the wonderful support that our local alumni have for our new students. This past weekend we also hosted our annual White Coat Ceremony for second-year DDS students, first-year IDS students and second-year DH students. This event commemorates the beginning of our students’ clinical experience and emphasizes their role as health care providers. With the many other orientation activities for students, faculty and staff taking place, there certainly is a lot of activity and enthusiasm around our hallways.

Of course, adding to the whirl of activities around the school is the ongoing planning for our new facilities.  I will continue to keep you updated regarding the future new facilities at 155 Fifth Street. I encourage you to go to the special web page covering our building plans. We will be taking photographs of the various stages of construction and will keep you updated.

We are currently planning at the end of August to begin demolition of the existing skin of the building — in other words, stripping the building down to structural steel and concrete. Sometime in early winter, the new outside skirt or skin will be going into place and the building will look remarkably different than it does now. We are planning a visit to the new facilities for the incoming DDS class to take place on July 20. This is the first class that will graduate from the new campus, so we wanted to invite them to see the structure for themselves. We will be arranging transportation to the facilities, including lunch, so that they will have the opportunity to see the new site and the surrounding community.

Best wishes to everyone for a great year.  Thank you for all that you do for Pacific Dugoni.