In 2013, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our school and we are planning a fun, year-long celebration. Since Dean Hutter asked me to chair the working group to organize the celebration of our 50th anniversary, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on where we are and all that has happened since Henry Goldman generated the idea of starting a Division of Stomatology in the Department of Medicine at Boston University Medical School. That was in 1958. Knowing Henry (and I did get to work with him for several years) he already had a pretty clear vision even then of how the school would evolve.
When we actually became a dental school just about 49 years ago in October of 1963, there were a small handful of dedicated faculty who were putting together some of the most outstanding postdoctoral programs in the world. Some of the specialties were fairly new – Goldman essentially invented the field of periodontology.
Very quickly, the work of several of our early stars – Goldman, Frankl, Schilder, Gianelly, Booth, Kramer, Jong , Sinibaldi and several others – brought us a national and international reputation. We very quickly became well known for scientific and clinical excellence in the specialties and innovators in dental research. I wonder how many of us know that our former dean, Spencer Frankl, led the investigative studies showing the effectiveness of fluoride in prevention of dental decay.
It is also fun to think about how we have grown physically, from a couple offices in the Talbot Building, to an ugly brownstone tenement building on East Newton Street and then to our current building which originally was only three stories. With the development of our DMD programs the top four stories were built in the early 70s. Now we are virtually all over the Medical Campus and on the verge of growing more.
When I came to the school in 1973, we weren’t known very well in the neighborhoods of Boston. Now we have, clearly, the most comprehensive community service programs in the state and several other academic and community service programs which literally span the globe. We have the largest federal grant in the US for the dental care of patients with HIV/AIDS. Since 2001, we have lead the Northeast Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities (The CREEDD), In addition to its research projects, the Center serves as both a regional and a national resource in efforts at eliminating oral health disparities.
In spite of our accomplishments, we are still progressive, young and vital. Dean Hutter has a vision for the school which is dynamic and forward looking. Our applied Strategic Planning process encompasses all aspects of our programs, our community and our GSDM family.
Our 2013 celebration is just beginning and will really kick off in a big way at our traditional Alumni Reception at the Yankee Dental Congress on February 1, 2013. However, we have a full agenda of celebratory events which will involve our whole family – students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. Our Planning Group consists of
Ms. Mary Becotte
Dr. Joe Calabrese
Dr. Lee Chou
Ms. Lindsay Corrigan
Dr. Shadi Daher
Dr. Neal Fleisher
Dr. Paula Friedman
Dr. Michelle Henshaw
Mr. Kevin Holland
Ms. Carole Loughran
Mr. Tim McDonough
Dr. Carl McManama
Ms. Stacey McNamee
Dr. Ron Nevins
Dr. Jan Peters
Dr. Steve Polins
Dr. Mitch Sabbagh
Dr. Tina Valades
We’ll keep you all informed as our plans for 2013 progress.
In the meantime, please use the submission form linked to on your right to submit your memories, stories, and photographs. We’ll post them here for all of our friends to enjoy.
Chair, 50th Anniversary Planning Group