Members of the Class of 2013 received their DDS degrees at the School of Dentistry’s annual Investiture of Doctoral Hoods ceremony on June 8 at Meany Hall on the UW campus.
Dean Joel Berg led his first graduation exercises since assuming the deanship last August. The event also included the first graduates from the School’s new International DDS program, a two-year course of study for students who already hold a DDS from outside the United States. In addition, the ceremony included the second cohort of graduates from the School’s Regional Initiatives in Dental Education program.
Special guests included members of the Class of 1963, who were visited the UW campus for their 50-year reunion.
Dr. Edmond Truelove, former Chair of the Department of Oral Medicine and now a member of the department faculty, gave the keynote speech, in which he imparted 10 life lessons. Recalling his upbringing as a grocer’s son in Indiana who worked at his father’s store from an early age, he said, “I knew it was my job to serve – just as it is now your job to serve.”
He told the graduates: “You can succeed no matter your origins, but first you must know what success is – and you must not compare your success with [that of] others.”
One lesson he passed on from his father was this: “Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. If you haven’t walked in their shoes, don’t judge.”
Dr. Phil Matson, president of the Class of 2013, noted the many changes that had taken place during his class’s time at the UW, including changes in clinical personnel, the first RIDE and IDDS graduates, and the loss of state Medicaid dental coverage for most adult patients. Even with these challenges, he said, the class had retained an easygoing character, and its members were “prepared to enter the world and practice in a changing environment.”
Welcoming alumni and the graduates’ parents, families and friends to the ceremony, Dean Berg noted the far-reaching changes planned for the School’s curriculum and clinical systems. “It’s a world of new materials, new technology, new understanding of biology and genetics, new ways of delivering care, new financial challenges,” he said. “We can’t expect to remain a leader in dental education with an old model, no matter how well it’s worked for us.”