UMSOD Graduates Reconnect at All Alumni Reunion Weekend
Written by Adam Zewe
More than 150 University of Maryland School of Dentistry alumni from across the country returned to their alma mater last weekend to celebrate the 2012 All Alumni Reunion. The three-day event, held from June 1 through June 3, brought together old friends and former classmates throughout the weekend.
The celebration kicked off with an Opening Reception on Friday night. Braving a tornado warning and severe storms, many alumni mingled in the Grand Atrium, reliving old times and swapping stories about their dental school days. The theme, Back to the Future, was carried out by a pair of futuristic robots who wandered through the crowd and a high-tech photo booth. "I wanted to come back to see some of the advancements the school has made and relive some of the camaraderie we had in dental school. I have a lot of fond memories from the time I spent here, and it is wonderful to be back," remarks George Maxwell, DDS '88.
During the reception, Roy Eskow, DDS '74, was honored as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year and Noel Paschke, RDH '77, MS, was presented with the inaugural Linda DeVore Dental Hygiene Alumnus Award. In addition, Dean Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, welcomed five new Dean's Faculty volunteers into the Alumni Association as honorary members. Dean Stohler thanked the alumni for their dedication to the school. "Without your support and your commitment, your alma mater wouldn't be the school that you know today," states Dr. Stohler.
On Saturday morning, UMSOD hosted a town hall meeting and panel discussion on Hot Topics in Dentistry. Faculty members Mark Macek, DDS, MPH, DPH; Richard Manski, DDS, MBA, PhD; Gary Hack, DDS; Ira Bloom, DDS; and John Bradbury, DDS; as well as MSDA President Diane Romaine, DMD, and Health Care Advocate Albert Bedell, PhD, debated some of dentistry's most controversial issues. Dean Stohler donned a referee's shirt and whistle to moderate the debate of the following topics: water fluoridation safety, the amalgam controversy, Botox in the dental office and mid-level providers in dentistry. Carol Eichelman, DDS '83, found the discussions about amalgam and Botox to be the most interesting. "I thought the debate was very insightful. I enjoyed learning about some perspectives I hadn't thought of before," she states.
The final day of All Alumni Reunion Weekend began with an Alumni Association board meeting. The board approved the 2012-2013 slate of officers and officially named Ngoc Chu, DDS '88, president of the Alumni Association. In addition, four new members joined the board: Bradley Trattner, DDS '88, Chris Liang, DDS '98, Julius Hyatt, DDS '84 and Ali Behnia, DDS '98.
Later, UMSOD hosted a special brunch honoring the Grand Classes. Former classmates from the Class of 1962, as well as two members of the Class of 1957, received praise from Dean Stohler for their commitment to the school and the dental profession. "You are our achievement. Your presence here means that you care about this institution, and if you care, the institution is a better place," declares Dean Stohler. The program was followed by an exclusive tour of the school. The members of the Grand Classes expressed amazement at the hi-tech simulation labs and cutting-edge clinics, as Dean Stohler led them through the facility.
For Sam Blum, DDS '62, the opportunity to reconnect with former classmates was a huge highlight of the weekend. Dr. Blum was also excited to see the state-of-the-art equipment that UMSOD students use. "The technology is very impressive. It's obviously a big plus for the profession that this institution is so up-to-date in its teaching and equipment. Current students are receiving an exceptional education," remarks Dr. Blum.