Coming Home, Coming Together

A record-setting 323 alumni and 17 corporate sponsors joined faculty and friends to fill the auditoriums and breezeways of the LSU School of Dentistry for Alumni Day on September 23. “When we planned this year’s event, we wanted it to be a homecoming,” said Dean Henry Gremillion. “I think we were all energized by seeing so many generations of dentistry represented, from new dentists who graduated this past May, graduates all the way back to the 1960s when the school was founded, along with alumni from Loyola (the dental school that preceded LSUSD).”

By tradition, the centerpiece of Alumni Day is a day-long program of continuing education. This year, the focus was on the resources available to the dental community by LSUSD faculty. The topics included sleep apnea, comprehensive dentistry, common pathology cases, technology such as smart photos to advance care, the evolution of the General Practice Residency Program, career development of the dental assistant and community service opportunities available through Special Olympics.

Sleep apnea presentation by Dr. Likith Reddy

The presenters were Julio Zavala, Jennifer Hew and Drs. Likith Reddy, Sherrod Quin, Suezan McCormick, James Tomaszweski, Kitrina Cordell, Marcos Brindis, Jonathan Esquivel and Gabriel Hernandez. A special two-part course on marketing was provided pro-bono by Belinda Bryant, a business consultant to the dental profession.  

Alumnus of the Year
Another important tradition is the presentation of the Alumnus of the Year Award, the highest honor given by the dental school. This year’s recipient is Dr. Eric T. Geist ’79, an oral surgeon practicing in Monroe.  

Loyola Tribute      
During World War II, two classes of dentists were graduated from the Loyola School of Dentistry in 1945. One class photo has been part of the Hall of Honor in the LSUSD Clinic Building. The second class photo had been missing until Dr. George Quartano, a member of the class, made it available to the dental school. During Alumni Day, a framed duplicate of the class photo was unveiled, soon to be hung as part of the Hall of Honor. Dr. Quartano’s grandson, Ross, is a 2009 graduate of LSUSD, now practicing in Mandeville. Another grandson, Adam, is a third-year dental student. Details on this story will be the subject of a future issue of this newsletter.

Dedicated to Education      
Dean Gremillion publicly recognized Drs. Billy Jeansonne, James Harrison and Robert Musselman for their lifetime dedication to the teaching of dentistry. Dr. Jeansonne is the recipient of the 2011 Copping Award, the highest award for teaching presented by the LSU Health Sciences Center. Dr. Harrison was recognized for teaching excellence by the 17,000-member American Dental Education Association. Dr. Musselman was honored with a professorship funded by former students and friends.
Establishing a professorship and chair is a major act of philanthropy that provides a lasting legacy to the donor while enabling the school to recruit and retain top-quality faculty.

Successful Fundraising      
Alumni Day is also an important fundraising event for the school. More than $25,000 was generated from sponsors. The money is dedicated to the student education fund and the alumni association. The annual auction, hosted by Dr. Chip Simon ’76, generated $10,985.
Of the 17 corporate sponsors, the two lead sponsors were Accupal and BioHorizons. The co-sponsors were Delta Dental Insurance Company and Kool Smiles. The table sponsors were Benco Dental; Fader Financial; Campus Federal Credit Union; GlaxoSmithKline; LAMMICO; Patterson Dental Supply, Inc.; Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Orascoptic; ADS South, LLC; P&G Crest/Oral B (P&G Professional Oral Health); Coltene Whaledent; Sultan Healthcare; and Integra-Miltex.

Alumni association board members: (from left) Drs. Simon and Murphy, Ms. Farrar, Drs. Searcy, Roy, Daly, Angelico, Gremillion, Moeller, Rauber, Scott and House

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Last Update 10/2011