This is an archived article.

April 9, 1997

Largest gift to UW School of Dentistry will establish first endowed chair

The Washington Dental Service (WDS) and University of Washington School of Dentistry today announced the establishment of the Washington Dental Service Endowed Chair in Dentistry.
The endowment is made possible through a $2 million gift from Washington Dental Service ‹ the largest single gift the dental school has ever received. It is the school’s first endowed chair.

The announcement was made by James S. Garrison, president and CEO of WDS, and Dr. Paul Robertson, dean of the UW School of Dentistry.

The WDS chair was established in honor of the School of Dentistry’s 50th anniversary. The anniversary is being commemorated during a four-year celebration of the school’s first graduating class of 1946.

To serve the dental profession, the WDS Chair will support a senior faculty member to provide education on the business aspects of the practice of dentistry.

“This endowment reflects the proactive orientation that Washington Dental Service has always had toward delivery of dental care,” said Garrison. “We know that dental students and their future patients, along with today’s practice community, will reap increasing benefits from the contribution this Chair can make to improvements in oral health care delivery. In this era, quality dental care must include an efficient, effective business practice.”

Washington Dental Service, a nonprofit organization, is the state’s oldest and largest provider of prepaid dental benefits. It now serves more than one million people throughout Washington state through a network of nearly 2,800 practicing dentists. The organization pioneered dental coverage nationally in 1954, at a time when most people considered tooth decay inevitable and private insurers considered dental coverage too risky. It is a founding member of Delta Dental Plans Association, a nationwide network of dental plans in all states.

“We are delighted by this support from Washington Dental Service,” said Robertson. “Our first endowed chair will help the school continue its reputation for excellence in dental education.” The UW School of Dentistry was founded in 1945 under the direction of Dean Dr. Ernest M. Jones. A leader in the field of dental research and education, the school has been the top recipient of research and training support from the National Institute of Dental Research since 1992.