WVU School of Dentistry Alumni History

The Beginning

           As the first class of the WVU School of Dentistry anticipated graduation in the spring of 1961, its members prepared to organize an alumni association.  Using the WVU College of Law Alumni Association Constitution as a model, class member Robert White wrote the constitution for the proposed dental school alumni association.  A class meeting was held in April 1961 to accept the Constitution and By-Laws, and the School of Dentistry Alumni Association was established as an independent subdivision of the West Virginia University Alumni Association.  Sam Holroyd was elected as the first President and Nathaniel Kennedy the first Vice-President.  The other eleven Board members were chosen from the 1961 class of 23.  Dr. Robert E. Sausen, Chair of the Department of Operative Dentistry, accepted the first ex-officio non-voting position of Secretary-Treasurer in 1961 and continued in this role for thirteen years.  He is also credited with researching and compiling the history of the alumni association.  In 1974, Dr. David Walker was selected as Secretary-Treasurer and served until July 1982, at which time Dr. Norton Smith accepted the position and continues to serve in this capacity.

In 1962, President Nathaniel Kennedy commissioned Dudley Compton to design the logo for the School of Dentistry Alumni Association.  The resulting logo was one of the Health Sciences Center pylons over an outline of the state of West Virginia.

On January 24, 1970, through the efforts of Carol Vukovich Spear (DH ’69), dental hygiene became affiliated with the WVU School of Dentistry Alumni Association.  Carol and Anne Shoaf were elected as the first dental hygiene members of the Board of Governors. 

The Board of Governors consists of thirteen members:  ten 5-year DDS terms and three 3-year DH terms.  Two DDS members and one DH member rotate off of the Board each year.  In May 2007, Laura Aliff (DH’82) was the first WVU dental hygiene graduate to be elected as President of the Board of Governors.

The School of Dentistry Alumni Association continues many philanthropic activities for both the School of Dentistry and its dental and hygiene students.