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The Dugoni School was in the spotlight in numerous ways at the American Dental Education Association’s Annual Session held recently in Orlando, Florida. We have enjoyed a long history of leadership at ADEA, helping shape the future of dental education for thousands of students. Our faculty, staff and students shared their knowledge in a variety of program sessions, at the ADEA TechExpo and through research poster presentations. You would be proud to have seen them in action!

Dr. David Chambers, professor of dental education, was honored with the national “Gies Award for Achievement — Dental Educator” during the conference. What a fitting award for someone who has advanced how we train dental professionals for decades. Our student Will Keeton DDS ’18, who serves as a leader on the ADEA council of students and residents, had the honor of introducing Dr. Chambers at the ceremony. This award marks the fourth ADEA Gies Award that our dental school or its leaders have received since the Gies awards program began in 2008.

Also making news was Dr. Michelle Brady, assistant professor and group practice leader, who was selected for ADEA’s 2018 Enid A. Neidle Scholar-in-Residence Program. The program offers the recipient a unique opportunity to focus on issues affecting women faculty members in dental education. Dr. Brady will receive a stipend to pursue a cumulative two- to three-month fellowship at the ADEA office in Washington, DC. She will be working on the topic, "A Development Model to Support Female Faculty Academic Advancement and Leadership Potential in a Dental School Environment," with the goal of creating a pathway for female faculty to develop, starting as students.

Efforts to advance women in the profession continue back here on campus as well. Our student-driven chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists has been very active on campus. Recent activities included a keynote presentation by faculty member Dr. Natasha Lee ’00, current president of the California Dental Association.

Our students across all of our programs are staying involved in organized dentistry at local, state and national levels. Several students and faculty from our Dental Hygiene program even visited the state capitol during a recent Legislative Day organized by the California Dental Hygienists’ Association.

With sincere gratitude to the thousands of generous members of our Dugoni School family, we have now surpassed the $50,000,000 milestone in our $65,000,000 comprehensive campaign supporting our stellar people, programs, and place. Many philanthropic gifts have been eligible for the University’s wonderful 1:1 Powell Match program, doubling the donors' impact for our student, faculty, and staff members.

Our alumni continue to make a difference across the country and around the globe. One of these people is Dr. Colin Wong ’65, who was honored this past weekend with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance for Smiles in recognition of his many years of treating children with cleft lip and palate in China. Thousands of children have healthy and beautiful smiles thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wong, who serves as an adjunct professor and our school’s Vice Dean for China/U.S. Relations.

The leadership of Drs. Chambers, Brady and Wong, along with so many of our other alumni, students, and faculty, are inspiring examples of the Dugoni School family making a difference in the world of dental education — and the world at large.

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us for the 119th Annual Alumni meeting March 2-3 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

Throughout the weekend you could hear the voice of the Dugoni School family loud and clear, full of pride and passion for our great people and programs. The event theme of “Dugoni School Giants and Leaders” was brought to life through our CE speakers, alumni and other school and dental community leaders who shared their expertise and insights. Special thanks to our Alumni Association board of directors, including new president Dr. Mary Turoff ’77 and immediate past president Dr. Dan Castagna ’81, as well as all of our staff and volunteers for putting on an impressive event that attracted 1,450 alumni and friends. You can read more about the alumni weekend here.

The school’s 50th annual Legacy Ball (formerly P&S Ball) coincided with the alumni meeting. It was a special opportunity to gather at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel for dinner, dancing, camaraderie and conversation during this annual celebration of philanthropy. Prior to the gala, we held the first-ever gathering of the Dr. Frank A. Brucia Loyalty Society. The society is a new way to recognize donors who have demonstrated their support by giving to the Dugoni School for at least 10 consecutive years, with lifetime giving of $50,000 or more.

The picture below from the Brucia Loyalty Society Reception illustrates one of my favorite moments of the entire weekend. Together, Dr. Frank Brucia (100 years young), Dr. Doc Starin (95) and Dr. Art Dugoni (92) represent 287 years of experience and love for dentistry and our great school. What a moment it was to see these giants together!

As I looked around the alumni weekend and saw faces of classmates, friends and mentors, it occurred to me how many more giants have grown within the Dugoni School family. Look at the success that many of you have enjoyed over the years. You’ve become giants in the dental profession in your own unique way. You are looked up to by your patients, your families, your communities, and your friends. And to all of you “giants” reading this message today, I’m so proud to call you fellow alumni of the Dugoni School of Dentistry. I am grateful for all that you do to keep our legacy strong and our future bright!

collage of photos from the alumni meeting

Having just visited with our Hawaii alumni at our annual January reception, I’m filled with the spirit of aloha, as well as a sense of family togetherness that these local events instill. We are fortunate to have such close-knit groups of alumni who support each other throughout their careers and continue to stay connected regularly.

These annual gatherings and traditions are important parts of the Dugoni School story. A couple of milestone events coming up are even celebrating “golden” anniversaries.

This month we will be celebrating the 50th year of our Asilomar retreat. We are bringing together the 20-year reunion class of 1998, the 5-year reunion class of 2013, Monterey-area alumni and the graduating classes of 2018. If you are in the region, come and join us for a fun event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday, Feb. 17. The event is for the whole family and RSVP details can be found here.

We are also looking forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming Annual Alumni Meeting March 2-3 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The 50th anniversary Legacy Ball will take place on Saturday, March 3 at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. It will be a spectacular weekend of CE and celebration on the top of Nob Hill! We invite you to register for the Alumni meeting or learn more about the Legacy Ball.

We have some other exciting news involving the number 50. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, friends and other supporters, we are approaching the milestone of $50 million raised toward our $65 million goal in the “Building Our Future, Embracing Our Legacy” campaign to support our people and programs. Thank you to those who have donated at any level to support the Dugoni School. It will take the support of all of us to build a stronger future.

There is more good news involving numbers. The Department of Endodontics received a strong showing of support from the American Association of Endodontics Foundation; last week foundation officials visited our school to award a $100,000 Endowed Faculty Matching Grant to support the Ronald F. Borer Endowment for Endodontics The impact of the foundation's generosity will be doubled to a total of $200,000 through $100,000 in additional funds provided by University of the Pacific's Powell Match program, which matches qualifying new endowment gifts on a 1:1 basis. You can read about their visit here.

We look forward to our next set of milestones in the years and decades to come! Meanwhile, I look forward to celebrating with you all this year.

Our strong alumni network is one of the great assets of the Dugoni School. We recently had an opportunity to gather with more than 1,600 of our distinguished alumni and friends at the 118th Annual Alumni Meeting held next door at the InterContinental Hotel.

Thank you to our Alumni Association staff, alumni board of directors, and all of our volunteers for organizing the events. It is a very large meeting and we could not have made it a success without your help. Special congratulations to our immediate past Alumni Association President, Kimberly LaRocca ’06 DH, and to the new Association President, Daniel Castagna ’81, for stepping up as leaders among the alumni family.

During the event the Alumni Association presented its highest honor, the Medallion of Distinction, to Dr. Dorothy Dechant, Melanie and Richard Lundquist, and Dr. Ariane Terlet ‘86. Congratulations to each of these recipients for the impact they have made on the school, our profession, and the community.

Another aspect of the meeting was the reunion dinners held that Friday night at locations throughout the city. I had the opportunity to attend all of these gatherings, held this year for the Classes of 2012, 2007, 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982, 1977, 1972 and 1967. The IDS alumni each held a reunion gathering as well. The reunion classes held mini fundraising campaigns and collectively donated nearly $2 million to support the Dugoni School’s fundraising campaign. We thank the classes for this amazing display of philanthropy to support our people and programs.

Saturday’s Legacy Ball at the InterContinental ballroom was a festive opportunity to celebrate and socialize with our alumni, donors, friends, and guests. Thanks to those of you who volunteered at the gala, and especially to our Office of Development for all of their work on this signature event. It is always one of the highlights of the weekend, and this year’s Nowruz-themed event was no exception.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the upcoming American Dental Education Association Annual Session being held March 18-21 in Long Beach, California. Nearly 30 faculty, staff, and/or students are involved in presentations or posters at the event, and we have others involved in leadership activities for their ADEA Sections. The Dugoni School has a history of strong involvement with ADEA and it is great to see this tradition continue. More details are available at

 The ADEA conference will be special for the Pacific Center for Special Care, which is receiving a “Gies Awards for Innovation” on March 20. We congratulate Dr. Paul Glassman and the entire team at the Pacific Center for their work on the Virtual Dental Home system and their many other innovations.  The Gies Awards, named after dental education pioneer William J. Gies, Ph.D., debuted in 2008 and are the profession’s preeminent recognition for individuals and organizations that exemplify the highest standards in oral health and dental education, research, and leadership.

 We have much to celebrate as our Winter Quarter soon comes to a close. From our students to our patients to our alumni family and our colleagues in dental education, the Dugoni School is making an impact. Thank you for continuing to support each other and creating an environment of success.