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Reunion Weekend Draws Hundreds of Alumni

Written by Adam Zewe

More than 200 former students returned to the University of Maryland School of Dentistry June 3 through June 5 for the largest All Alumni Reunion Weekend ever.

Alumni from across the country gathered in the Grand Atrium on Friday night for the Opening Reception, enjoying time to catch up with fellow graduates. The crowd laughed along with stand-up comedian Mike Storck and joined the chorus with a cappella quartet Stardust Memories. "It's fun to see some old, familiar faces. Plus, it's always nice to feel connected to the school," says Mark Lustman, DDS '72, who practices in Baltimore.

During the reception, Mel Kushner, DDS '66, was honored as the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. After Dr. Kushner received the award, his wife, Sharan, announced the establishment of a fund at the school that honors her husband. The Kushner Student Mentoring Program Fund will support a mentoring program that introduces current students to the alumni family. "This fund really pays tribute to one of Mel's greatest passions, the students of this school," remarks Sharan.

Four continuing education classes were held throughout the weekend, featuring guest lecturers Dr. Jon Suzuki, Dr. Jeffrey Okeson and Dr. Syngcuk Kim. The courses drew nearly 200 participants. Jeff Jarvis, DDS '97, gathered a wealth of practical information during Dr. Okeson's orthodontics lecture. "It was great to have a world-renowned speaker here. I enjoy continuing education because learning is endless. That's what makes practicing exciting," Jarvis states.

At the end of the eventful weekend, the 50-year class was honored during a special brunch on Sunday. Members of the class were given a VIP tour of the school of dentistry by Dean Christian Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent. They were impressed by the simulation labs and were excited to see the future of dentistry in the Dream Room. Stanley Stoller, a member of the Class of 1961, was astonished by the high-tech tools available to dental students. "The technology really is out of this world. It makes me want to come back to dental school," quips Stoller.

Click here to view a slide show of reunion photos.

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