Endowed Chair Appointments

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Dr. William P. LunderganWith all that is going on, it is nice to share another bit of positive news.  I am pleased to announce that we received word this week from Michael Hunter Schwartz, Interim Provost, and Maria Pallavicini, Interim President of University of the Pacific, that two of our academic leaders have been approved to receive well-deserved recognition for their achievements in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Dr. William Lundergan, Professor of Periodontics and Chair, Department of Periodontics, has been appointed as the Wilbur and Ruth Hughes Endowed Chair in Periodontology.

Dr. A. Jeffrey WoodDr. A. Jeffrey Wood, Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Chair, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, has been appointed as the Samuel D. Harris Endowed Professor in Pediatric Dentistry.

Both of these endowed roles are effective at the start of our new academic year for a period of five years.

As you know, growing endowments to offset the costs of education and support faculty commitment to excellence is a strong area of fundraising focus.  There was a very thorough review process that took place to evaluate each candidate for the endowed role. I would like to thank Dr. Cindy Lyon and our Faculty Appointment Promotion and Tenure Committee as well as the faculty from each department for your support of these important appointments.  I would also like to thank Dr. Subar for representing us on the University committee.

These appointments are supported by endowments established by Wilbur and Ruth Hughes and Samuel D. Harris, respectively. We are grateful for their leadership in the profession and their vision for creating this sustained support of excellence in our academic and clinical programs.

Dr. Wilbur “Wil” Hughes served our country in the military prior to joining our periodontic department under then chair Dr. Walter Hall. A non-graduate, he and his wife Ruth “adopted” the dental school and its humanistic style of education.  Those of us who were privileged to be educated by him responded to his soft-spoken and easy going personality that belied his rich knowledge of periodontics and empathetic chairside demeanor. Wil and Ruth magnanimously provided for the Endowed Chair in their estate.

Dr. Samuel D. Harris was a non-graduate, philanthropist, and friend of then Pacific School of Dentistry, whose name can be found on the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, Maryland.  He and Dr. Arthur Dugoni, who also started as a pediatric dentist, met through organized dentistry.  Based on this relationship and his deep respect for the humanistic model of education, Dr. Harris generously invested in the Endowed Professorship to provide dental care and preventative guidance to children, their parents, and families.

I am so proud of both Dr. Lundergan and Dr. Wood. They have made a tremendous impact on our school and in their fields. We plan to more formally celebrate their appointments at a time in the future when we can appropriately gather and celebrate. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating each of them on this wonderful honor and achievement.