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Ngoc Chu, DDS '88, Elected Alumni Board President

Written by Adam Zewe

Ngoc Chu, DDS '88, hopes to energize his fellow alumni as the new president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Dr. Chu, the first Asian-American to serve as president of the board, was unanimously elected during All Alumni Reunion on June 3. The board promotes school involvement among more than 7,000 UMSOD graduates.

Dr. Chu joined the board several years ago to strengthen his connection to the School of Dentistry. During his presidency, he plans to engage alumni across the nation in professional development opportunities. He proposes establishing more networking opportunities for former students, with the ultimate goal of strengthening inter-class bonds. "What we begin here is a life-long relationship. I want alumni to continue to seek out the school as a resource for professional growth," he remarks.

A volunteer member of the Dean's Faculty, Dr. Chu stresses the importance of supporting his alma mater. Giving back has always been among his priorities. During his childhood, Dr. Chu lived in a Vietnamese refugee camp and experienced the compassion of American volunteers. After immigrating to the U.S. with a group of refugees, he decided that someday he would serve others in the same manner. While a student at UMSOD, he was able to volunteer his time and talents on a dental mission trip to the Dominican Republic. "That was the first time in my life that I was able to fulfill that promise to myself. What we learn in dental school is a privilege, a blessing, and we need to give back," states Dr. Chu.

Since then, he has been on numerous dental mission trips, both within the U.S. and around the world. He is also a founding member of, a nonprofit organization that promotes medical and dental care to the underserved worldwide. Dr. Chu has traveled with UMSOD students on numerous service trips overseas, and he has continually been impressed by their dedication. "Not only is giving back rewarding, it allows us to challenge ourselves and keep our skills fresh for our patients," he declares.

Dr. Chu operates a private prosthodontics practice in Gaithersburg and Bethesda. He and his wife, Thu, who were married in 2009, have two sons, ages 2 years and 9 months. In his spare time, Dr. Chu enjoys spending time with his family and restoring old Porsches.

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