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Why we support UW Dentistry

Our alumni tell what the school means to them.

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Lunch celebrates 2014-15 Wands Fellow

Dr. David Wands (Prosthodontics ’72) hosted Dean Joel Berg and other guests for lunch in Seattle in October 2014 to celebrate the selection of Dr. Josh Manchester (’13) as recipient of the 2014-15 David H. Wands Fellowship in Graduate Prosthodontics at the School of Dentistry. Dr. Manchester is the ninth recipient of the $10,000 award at the UW.


Joining Dr. David Wands (third from left) were (from left) Dr. Hai Zhang, Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Josh Manchester, Dean Joel Berg and Dr. Kyle Schmidt, the 2006 Wands Fellow.


After receiving his DDS at the UW, Dr. Manchester completed a general practice residency at the University of Minnesota Physicians Dental Clinic. Once he obtains his Prosthodontics certification, he hopes to practice in Spokane with his wife and classmate, Dr. Elizabeth Manchester (’13), whom he met and married in dental school.

“I really appreciate Dr. Wands’ generosity in supporting the fellowship endowment,” Dr. Manchester said. “I think it makes a considerable difference to the specialty’s current residents who will become the future mentors of Prosthodontics.”

Dr. Wands, who was a UW School of Dentistry faculty member in the Department of Prosthodontics for 22 years, originally established the fellowship at the University of Maryland in 1994 in recognition of the shortage of dental school educators and to offer financial assistance to those interested in academic dentistry. In 1998, he launched a similar fellowship at the UW with a $500,000 commitment. Since the fellowship’s inception at Maryland, a total of 13 awards have been made.

In 1967, Dr. Wands graduated with honors from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, University of Maryland, and afterward served for seven years with the U.S. Public Health Service. He then returned to the University of Washington as a half-time faculty member and taught both undergraduate and graduate Prosthodontics, achieving the rank of Clinical Professor.

Dr. Kirby Skavdahl’s gift aids Perio training

Kirby-Skavdahl“Dentistry made a lot more sense to me after I went through periodontics training,” says Dr. Kirby Skavdahl (Class of 1979), who has practiced periodontics in Kennewick in Washington’s Tri-Cities area since 1982. “I liked the underlying concepts of periodontics, such as medicine, pharmacology and systemic disease, and I was also intrigued by the surgical procedures.”

Having found the key that helped him unlock the full scope of dentistry, he now wants to share it with today’s students: He’s making a $250,000 planned gift to the School of Dentistry to support periodontics training in the pre-doctoral program.

“It seems that somewhere it would be really good to emphasize that something’s going on under the gum tissue,” Dr. Skavdahl says.

After earning his DDS, Dr. Skavdahl went to Medical College of Virginia, where he obtained his periodontics certification in 1982. He chose MCV for periodontics training largely because both the department chairman, Dr. Kent Palcanis, and the graduate program director, Dr. Howard Dorfman, were graduates of the UW periodontics program.

“It seems that students coming out of the UW have a better understanding of periodontal concepts than other dentists,” Dr. Skavdahl says.

“I hope my gift helps others see and know the importance of the periodontium, and know what can be done to achieve long-term health in a damaged periodontium,” he says.

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