Distinguished Public Service Alumni Award: Edwin L. Morris, DDS ’74, Orthodontics ’76

Headshot of Edwin L. MorrisThis award recognizes a graduate for meritorious professional leadership and service to the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) and the community. The 2020 recipient is Edwin L. Morris, DDS ’74, Orthodontics ’76, in recognition of his dedication to the highest standards of orthodontics patient care, mentorship and guidance of the next generation of oral health professionals, and exemplary leadership through organized dentistry.

A 1971 graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Morris majored in biology. In 1974, he graduated magna cum laude from UMSOD; was named to Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society; and received the American Association of Orthodontics Award. Two years later, he completed a certificate in Orthodontics at UMSOD.

A resident of Kingsville, Md., Morris operated a private orthodontics practice in Perry Hall and Fallston, Md., for nearly 40 years. He taught as an assistant clinical professor in UMSOD’s Department of Orthodontics from 1977-84 and worked as staff orthodontist at Mercy Dental Associates from 1997-2004. A member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy since 2000, he was appointed last year to the UMSOD Dean’s Faculty. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.

Whether as student, faculty, or alumnus, Morris tirelessly has worked to support his alma mater. He was an active member from 1984-90 of UMSOD’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, including sitting on its executive committee and serving (among other roles) as first vice president from 1987-88 and president from 1989-90. Additionally, he was president of the Orthodontic Alumni Association from 2005-10 and chair of the UMSOD Alumni Endowment Fund for 16 years.

But it is through his work to preserve and promote organized dentistry that Morris’ passion for his profession truly shines. “We are in a respected, learned profession due to the hard work of the people before us,” he explained in a 2017 interview. “We have to maintain these standards and pass them on to the next generation.”

That philosophy has fueled his deep involvement with myriad professional groups and associations. A longtime member of organizations including the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists, and Maryland State Society of Orthodontists, Morris has filled many leadership roles. He has served as president of the Baltimore County Dental Association and the Maryland State Society of Orthodontists. Additionally, from 2012-15, he sat on the Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA) Board of Trustees and, from 2015-16, served as the state organization’s president. He currently serves as a trustee for the International College of Dentists (ICD) and is vice president of the ICD Foundation. For the past five years, he has volunteered annually at the MSDA’s Mission of Mercy events, at which dental professionals and others volunteer their time and expertise to offer two-day, free dental clinics at locations throughout the state. In 2020, he was appointed to the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.