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All-around School of Dentistry pioneer Dr. Dan Middaugh passes away

Dr.-Dan-MiddaughDr. Dan Middaugh, a giant in the School of Dentistry’s history whose accomplishments and impact on the School and the dental community at-large are many and far-reaching, passed away on May 5, 2024.

Dr. Middaugh was instrumental in the design and modernization of the UW School of Dentistry in the 1970s. He was responsible for coordinating the design of the seven-story portion of the D-wing, and helped plan both curriculum and facilities for a significant increase in class size.

He was also a driver in advancing the Department of Oral Biology as an important research unit within the School. Later, under his leadership as Assistant Dean of Continuing Education, the UW Continuing Dental Education program became one of the most respected university-based programs in the country.

One of Dr. Middaugh’s most crucial roles was as a trusted advisor to many of the School’s deans and department chairs over the years. Sought for his broad understanding of administrative and academic processes, his guidance was particularly essential during times of uncertainty and crisis.

“He was known for his great intellect and ability to establish and maintain collaborative relationships across the health sciences’ schools and the university,” said Dean André Ritter. “As an influential leader, he helped advance the goals of the School in the broader university community.”

Dr. Middaugh was a strong defender of the rights of faculty, students, staff and patients, and a dedicated participant in organized dentistry. Throughout his career, he led and served on the boards of numerous professional organizations. He was also recognized with many awards and accolades for his incredible work.

He established the Dan G. Middaugh Student Award for Professional Service to encourage professional leadership for future generations. In Dr. Middaugh’s words, “…I believe dentists must provide the leadership that will preserve the current excellence of the oral health care system but also work with other interested groups and individuals to improve oral health for individuals and groups not getting adequate care…”

“Dr. Middaugh was a respected, trusted and supportive colleague to hundreds of practitioners, students, faculty and friends,” said Dean Ritter. “He was a kind and considerate professional, and he will be deeply missed.”