Past deans

The VCU School of Dentistry has a rich history that dates back more than a century. In that time, the school has undergone many changes. The school and its students witnessed considerable advances in technology, relocation and construction of new buildings, new visions and missions for the school and new leadership.

Each of the 14 past deans contributed something unique and valuable to the school and its students, faculty and alumni. These men created a tradition of excellence at the VCU School of Dentistry and shaped the future of the dental profession.

Lewis M. Cowardin

Lewis M. Cowardin, M.D., D.D.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry, University College of Medicine, 1893–1910

Lewis M. Cowardin, M.D., D.D.S., headed the University College of Medicine's dental school from 1893 to 1910 without renumeration, all the time making substantial contributions to the school to keep it going when there was no endowment or state aid. He was one of the founders of the Richmond Dental Society in 1894 and practiced dentistry for more than 56 years.

Henry C. Jones

Henry C. Jones, D.D.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Virginia, 1897–1901

Henry C. Jones, D.D.S., enjoyed an enviable reputation in his private practice in Richmond, was colonel of the First Virginia Regiment and served as director-general of the Exposition held in Richmond in 1888.

J. Hall Moore

J. Hall Moore, D.D.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Virginia, 1901–1906

J. Hall Moore, D.D.S., labored unceasingly to raise the standards of dentistry. His work as leader in the framing of the dental law in Virginia earned him the reputation as the "Father of Dentistry in Virginia."

Frank Whiting Stiff

Frank Whiting Stiff, D.D.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Virginia, 1906–1913

Frank Whiting Stiff, D.D.S., was a charter member of the Richmond Dental Society and served in 1911 as president of the Virginia State Dental Society. His broad abilities led to his appointment as a member of the board of visitors of the College of William and Mary. He continued as dental faculty chairman until 1913 and in private practice until 1931.

Richard Lee Simpson

Richard Lee Simpson, A.M., D.D.S., FACD
Dean, School of Dentistry, University College of Medicine, 1910–1913
Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Virginia, 1913–1915

Richard Lee Simpson, A.M., D.D.S., FACD, chairman of the University College of Medicine's dental faculty from 1910 to 1913, became dean of the combined dental school.

J. A. Cameron Hoggan

J. A. Cameron Hoggan, L.D.S., D.D.S., FACD
Dean, 1915–1925

J. A. Cameron Hoggan, L.D.S., D.D.S., FACD, a native of Canada, was named dean and served during a period of substantial advancement for the School of Dentistry and the dental profession.

Robert Dunsmore Thornton

Robert Dunsmore Thornton, D.D.S.
Dean, 1925–1929

Robert Dunsmore Thornton, D.D.S., another Canadian, was named dean and served for three years before returning to private practice in 1929.

Harry Bear

Harry Bear, D.D.S., D.Sc., FACD
Dean, 1929–1950

Harry Bear, D.D.S., was the first graduate of the School of Dentistry to serve as dean. Bear earned a national reputation in the field of dental education and was president of the American Association of Dental Schools and the American Society of Oral Surgery and was a Fellow of the American College of Dentists.

Harry Lyons

Harry Lyons, D.D.S., D.Sc., LL.D.
Dean, 1951–1970

Harry Lyons, D.D.S., D.Sc., LL.D., joined the School of Dentistry faculty shortly after his graduation in the Class of 1923 and rose through the ranks from instructor to professor and head of the Department of Oral Pathology, Diagnosis and Theraputics. He was named dean in 1951. Lyons oversaw the move of the school from McGuire Hall to the Wood Memorial Building, and helped break ground for what is now known as the Lyons Dental Building.

John A. DiBiaggio

John A. DiBiaggio, D.D.S., M.A., LL.D.
Dean, 1970–1976

John A. DiBiaggio, D.D.S., M.A., LL.D., was named dean in 1970. During DiBiaggio's tenure, the departments of Periodontics and Endodontics were launched. DiBiaggio later served as president of the University of Connecticut, Michigan State University and Tufts University.

James Edward Kennedy

James Edward Kennedy, D.D.S., M.S.
Dean, 1977–1983

James Edward Kennedy, D.D.S., M.S., formerly chairman of the Department of Periodontics, enhanced the school's standing in the research community and moved to forge a stronger relationship with alumni. Kennedy later served as dean of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine.

James H. Revere Jr.

James H. Revere Jr., D.D.S.
Interim dean, 1983–1985

James H. Revere Jr., D.D.S, has served on the faculty at the school in a wide variety of positions, both instructional and administrative, for 40 years. He currently serves as the director of planned giving. Revere is held in high regard by many generations of dental school alumni.

Lindsay M. Hunt

Lindsay M. Hunt Jr., D.D.S., Ph.D.
Dean, 1985–1998

Lindsay M. Hunt Jr., D.D.S., Ph.D., placed a heavy emphasis on professionalism and ethics. His contributions include leading extensive renovations to the school's physical facilities as well as a redesign of the clinical curriculum. During his tenure, the VCU Philips Institute of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology was established.

Ronald J. Hunt

Ronald J. Hunt, D.D.S., M.S.
Dean, 1998–2010

Ronald J. Hunt, D.D.S., M.S., led the effort to implement a new electronic clinic managment system, including digital radiography and an electronic dental record for patient care. During his tenure, construction of the W. Baxter Perkinson Jr. Building was completed. Hunt served as president of the American Dental Education Association.