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50 Years of Dental Education

2018 marks the 50th year of the LSU School of Dentistry. Since the first dental class of 30 students entered the school in 1968, LSUSD has graduated over 6,000 dental health professionals. LSUSD is the fifth dental school established in the state since 1861. Today students, residents, and faculty provide care in nearly a dozen locations statewide with an average of 100,000 patient visits annually.

In 1966 when Loyola School of Dentistry (1914-1971) announced a phase-out of the school, Governor John McKeithen signed a bill into law to establish the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. The school opened in barracks on a 22-acre tract that originally served as World War II housing for the U.S. Navy. Dr. Edmund E. Jeansonne, dean of the Loyola School of Dentistry, was appointed first dean of LSUSD.

Construction of the permanent building began in 1969 and extended through 1971, at a cost of $15.75 million. First opened in January 1972, the building was dedicated on February 18. The charter class of 27 dentists graduated on June 3, 1972. The first dental hygiene class of 30 students entered the school in September 1972 and the program in Dental Laboratory Technology began the following year. Advanced education programs began in 1972 although the Oral Surgery program, established in the 1920’s and based at Charity Hospital, was transferred from Loyola to LSU in 1968.

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, LSUSD relocated to Baton Rouge in a temporary dental school on South Campus. The 60 fourth-year dental students were placed in preceptorships in private dental offices across Louisiana. Because of limited space at the new campus, the postgraduate programs found clinic and seminar space in other locations. LSUSD remained on South Campus until August 2007, when the New Orleans building reopened. In 2008, shortly after the return to the campus, Henry Gremillion, DDS, MAGD, and LSUSD 1977 graduate, became the school’s fifth dean.

Also in 2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a multi-million dollar grant to erect a new building at LSUSD to mitigate the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The elevated building, completed earlier this year, includes clinical and basic science research areas and the faculty dental practice. The electrical and mechanical components that operate the entire campus are also housed in the new building.

Another notable transformation is the $9 million plus renovation of the student preclinical laboratories encompassing the entire 7th floor of the E.E. Jeansonne Building. The state-of-the-art facility includes two laboratories, a classroom, and a wet lab.

To celebrate the history of the school, several events will take place during 2018. For more information, contact Katie Kelley, MBA, 504-941-8120.

Come Celebrate with Us

Wednesday, May 23, Opening of the Advanced Research & Clinical Care Building
10:30 a.m.-noon Ribbon cutting, tours, and light refreshments
4:00-7:00 p.m. Reception and tours

Thursday, May 24, Alumni Reception in conjunction with NODA Welcome & LDA President’s Party
7:00-10:00 p.m. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 8 Block Kitchen & Bar
$30.00 per person. To register, contact Gina at NODA at 504-834-6449 or at www.nodc.org.

Friday, August 24, Alumni Day and Reunion Gatherings
All alumni are invited to attend Alumni Day for continuing education, tours of the new facilities, and socializing.
Following Alumni Day, classes in reunion years (ending in “3” and “8”) will be recognized at the post-event celebration at 5:00-7:30 p.m. in the LSUSD Advanced Clinical Care and Research Building

 

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Last Update 5/2018