Selected Speeches

School of Dentistry: 175 Years

May 30, 2015
Hyatt Regency Baltimore

Good evening. First, let me say how disappointed I am that I can’t be with you in person to celebrate 175 years of excellence in dental education. Right now, I’m in South Korea with Gov. Hogan on a trade mission to benefit Maryland’s economy.

In conveying admiration for venerable institutions, people often generously use the word “pioneering.” But there is nothing inflated about applying the term to our School of Dentistry. You are, of course, the world’s very first dental college. But my deep pride is rooted in the fact that—these many years later—you’re still one of the best.

That excellence is the product of continual investment—investment in the preparation of tremendously talented students and in constant curriculum innovation; investment in renowned faculty who shape professional practice on an international scale.

You’ve invested, as well, in one of the most advanced dental facilities in the world and in a body of cutting-edge oral health research that revolutionizes patient care. I’m particularly thankful for the school’s scholarly focus on pain and infectious diseases—two critically important research areas benefiting from your expertise.

And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you for your profound commitment to service—to treating the patients who are vulnerable to challenges of access and who need your high-quality care the most.

I say all these things not only in my role as University president but in a role that’s perhaps even more important—that of a grateful and faithful patient. I see the school and its people from the dental chair, and there’s no better place from which to judge the quality of care you deliver. That care is uniformly exceptional, and you have my admiration and thanks.

Before I conclude, I want to note that it’s expensive to provide the caliber of education the School of Dentistry provides—and to conduct the caliber of research. These enterprises can’t be fully covered by state support or tuition dollars. And I hope we can count on the dental community—our dedicated alumni and friends—to help us with these essential tasks.

To Dean Reynolds, to the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the School of Dentistry: I offer you my congratulations on 175 years of pioneering work and invaluable service to Maryland. And I wish you all the accolades you deserve on this milestone anniversary.

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