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Celebrating Women's History Month: Ms. Katherine Toomey

Written by Adam Zewe

Katherine Toomey served as the dean's secretary from 1917 to 1961, providing major administrative support for three deans: Dr. Timothy Heatwole, Dr. J. Ben Robinson and Dr. Myron Aisenberg. She was the first person new dental students encountered, and used her position to offer advice and guidance.

Administrative duties filled only part of her role in the Office of the Dean; Toomey became a trusted confidant whose ideas of the school and the profession quickly earned the respect of her superiors. Beloved by students, faculty and staff, Toomey was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Mount Saint Mary's College in 1958. In conferring the award, the college said: "With easy grace and modest reserve you have been content to work your magic behind the scenes, finding your satisfaction in the bright careers which are the fruit of your devotion."

Toomey passed away in 1979. In her honor, UMSOD presents the Katherine Toomey Award annually to the graduating student who best exhibits devotion to the school and the profession.


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