A century and a quarter after the opening of this dental school, many outward effects of early inventions are gone. The original building vanished into earthquake rubble; the initial curriculum tumbled from starched 19th-century fussiness into the 21st’s chaotic creativity. But much more of what our founders set in motion still flourishes. Early impulses whirring with ambition and scrappiness were assembled, adjusted, revised and reinvented to form a motherboard of modern educational excellence.
History is a tool. Ours moves us to reflect on the strengths that shape us, the visions that energize us, the relationships that inspire us and the knowledge that transforms us. Indeed, tracing our journey reminds us how to live next—how to seize the spirit of scientific inquiry, harness the synergism of collaboration and collegiality and multiply the force of our own determination to thrive amid uncertainty. The past 125 years molded the Dugoni School of Dentistry to resilience, flexibility, productivity and humanism. Such qualities remain well positioned to propel us through the next 125. —Dr. Eric K. Curtis ’85, author of A Century of Smiles