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Dear Pacific Dugoni Family,

I would like to wish all of you a happy, safe and restful holiday season.

You have all accomplished so much over this remarkable year. The move to the new building, setting up our new clinics and classrooms, welcoming our new students, completing CODA accreditation, implementing more of the Pacific Dental Helix Curriculum and The Pacific Promise, providing care to thousands of people in our community – these are just some of the major accomplishments made possible by your efforts. There are so many other stories of individual achievement by our students, faculty, and staff. You are an amazing group of people, and I am proud to be your Dean.

Over the past year, the Pacific Dugoni family demonstrated collaboration, humanism, leadership, innovation and other values we hold high as a school. You showed flexibility and a bit of humor as we got settled into our new home and launched into the new school year. You showed that you cared for each other and most importantly for the success of our students and patients.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy the downtime and spend much-deserved time with family, friends, and other loved ones. You deserve it.

Happy holidays!

Pacific Dugoni gets festive for the holiday season.
Pacific Dugoni gets festive for the holiday season.

I want to thank the entire Pacific Dugoni family for your involvement in a successful accreditation site visit held October 28-30 by a team from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). I want to inform you that there are no recommendations and many positive comments toward all our programs that were under review:  Pre-doctoral (DDS), AEGD and Orthodontics.

Students enjoy a reception celebrating the accreditation success.

The strengths the team highlighted included the planning of our curriculum, having a facility that lines up to it, the faculty, faculty development, humanistic environment, collaborations and university support. Regarding humanism, one site visit team member commented, “As you know, there is a standard requiring that dental schools demonstrate a humanistic environment.” As he said, it is very difficult to document that and put it on paper. He mentioned walking through the building, you need no documentation, because the humanistic spirit is all over the place.

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I want to give you all a special thanks and pat on the back. I know this was a difficult job. To do this under normal circumstances is difficult enough. Having to do it as we transitioned into the new building made the task even more challenging. As I always thought, the Pacific Dugoni family was up to it.


I want to give special recognition to Dr. Nader Nadershahi and Dr. Daniel Bender. They did an incredible job working to make sure this process was done successfully. Thank you to everyone else, writing teams, and support – you were fantastic.

Bottom line: Pacific Dugoni has always been great. As a result of this process, we are even greater.

Thank you again.


campaignLOGO-WEBOn Sept. 5, we held our annual alumni reception during the California Dental Association’s conference in San Francisco. This year we got to host our guests in our new dental facilities at 155 Fifth Street, just a block away from the conference location at the Moscone Center. Several hundred members of the Pacific Dugoni alumni family joined us for a great gathering.

As we mentioned that night, we have great news regarding our current capital campaign in support of the new facilities. Thanks to the stellar leadership of Dr. Edmond Bedrossian as president of the Pacific Dugoni Foundation (PDF) and the hard work of Jeff Rhode as associate dean of Development, we have now raised $20.2 million toward the overall goal of $40 million for the “Building Our Future, Embracing Our Legacy” fundraising campaign.

PDF President Bedrossian has led by example, by giving generously of his time, talent and treasure. His offer to host innovative and strategic donor events has resulted in millions of dollars in support of the campaign. His enthusiasm has been contagious and produced successful recruitments of eight new board members in the last two years — each giving $100,000 or more to the current campaign. I am sincerely grateful to Dr. Bedrossian for his friendship and dedication to our great dental school. I want to thank all the members of the PDF board for their support and enthusiasm.

Home Campaign for Pacific Dugoni2I hired Jeff two-plus years ago when the campaign was at less than $4 million total in its first two years. Jeff recruited and kept a terrific Development team together and they have raised more than $16 million the last two years. This has always been a uniquely challenging campaign because it did not start with any prior gifts — it only includes philanthropy designated toward the new dental facilities project, not typical campaigns built around grants, planned gifts, or annual funds. Nonetheless, Jeff's Development team has done an extraordinary job in a very short period of time.

To view our new campaign web site and to learn about naming opportunities in the new dental facilities or ways to make a gift, please visit

If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact Jeff Rhode at

Thank you to everyone who has gotten involved in supporting the future of Pacific Dugoni through the “Building Our Future, Embracing Our Legacy” campaign.


Over the past month, the Pacific Dugoni family gathered together to celebrate an exciting milestone in our school’s history. But more importantly, you celebrated the bonds you have with your fellow classmates and colleagues. You remind me every day of how fortunate I am to call you my family.

Staff Photo
Dugoni staff exploring the new building.

More than 2,000 members of the Pacific Dugoni family visited San Francisco for Alumni Weekend and the dedication of our new building at 155 Fifth Street. It was amazing to see so many generations of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends exploring our new home. Your enthusiasm and energy put the finishing touches on the building and filled it with life.

Dedication - Students
Pacific Dugoni students get a preview of their simulation lab.

Having an extended family means that there’s a home for you wherever you travel. I had the opportunity to meet with more than 30 Pacific Dugoni alumni in Dallas, and I was touched to hear that they get together frequently to socialize and share what they are up to personally and professionally. They have built a community in their city and continue to live out Pacific Dugoni’s values of humanism, collaboration and respect.

Last month, more than 70 members of the Pacific Dugoni family gathered in San Antonio for the American Dental Education Association’s Annual Session. We hosted a dinner on the River Walk on the Sunday evening of the event, and invited our alumni who live in and around San Antonio. As a school family, we learn and work together. But we also have the chance to relax, gathering together over a table to share food and conversation.

Alumni Meeting
Alumni come together at the Annual Alumni Meeting.

One of my favorite philosophers, Marcus Aurelius, once said, “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” I know that transition can bring challenges and opportunities, whether it’s moving to a new school, graduating, starting out in a new program, finding mentors, developing a practice or just trying a new way of doing things. Fortunately, the Pacific Dugoni family is a strong support network that reaches far and wide. With all my heart, thank you for being a family that stays connected.

Alumni Luncheon