New Beginnings

July was a month of new beginnings in so many ways. I’m honored and excited to have started my first month as the ninth Dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. Thank you to everyone who sent notes of congratulation. Your show of support means a lot as I enter this next chapter in my involvement with the school.

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In the second week of July, we had the pleasure to welcome our new students to the Dugoni School family. You would be proud of these talented young professionals and we hope you get to meet some of them soon! The students had a whirlwind week that included Matriculation Day, a family welcome luncheon, orientation activities and the start of classes. Their busy first week was capped off with a tasty cioppino dinner hosted by the Alumni Association and cooked by alumni volunteers. The following day, our DDS Class of 2018, IDS Class of 2018 and Dental Hygiene Class of 2017 celebrated the start of their clinical experience during the White Coat Ceremony, attended by nearly 1,000 family and friends at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. Some of you may remember your own white coat ceremony. This grand tradition started in the mid 1990s when the Dugoni School became the first dental school in America to hold a white coat ceremony. View photos >>

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As an alumnus of our school, I know that our close-knit alumni network is one of our school’s distinguishing traits. As Dean, I look forward to staying in touch and seeing many of our alumni family at upcoming events. We recently gathered with a group of Los Angeles-area alumni at a July 23 dinner hosted by Dean Salo DDS ’92 and his wife Renata at their beautiful home. It was a fun opportunity to relive some Dugoni School memories and catch up with our LA alumni and friends. The following day, more than 100 people turned out for the Dugoni School’s annual “Day at the Races” event at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar. A big thanks to Cheri Howell Reynold, former Alumni Association board member, for getting the word out about the event, which attracted our largest turnout ever! We are also organizing regional alumni dinners in the Phoenix and Portland areas. For those coming to San Francisco for CDA Presents, please join us at the Alumni Association reception on Friday, Sept. 9, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm at the school. Please watch your inbox for further details.

One of my favorite quotes recently is from Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” My mentor, Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni, along with so many other members of the Dugoni School family, have been giants in my life. They’ve been giants in many of your lives as well. I hope we all take some time to remember the “greats” we have met in our personal and professional lives. Each of us, too, has the capability to become a giant to someone else. Don't underestimate the positive influence you can have on the lives of your family, friends, patients, and community.

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In this time of new beginnings, I’m proud to be part of the Dugoni School family. Our long-lasting legacy of excellence, commitment to our people and programs, and bright vision for the future makes this an exciting place to be.