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Military salute to the Class of 1951
On April 16, 2011, the VCU School of Dentistry honored its own “greatest generation”
during the Class of 1951’s 60th reunion. The D.D.S. Class of 1951 is the only
dental class composed entirely of veterans. Additionally, they have maintained contact
with each other over the past six decades through their newsletter, “Painless
Publication.” Faculty who are veterans and students who will pursue military
service upon graduation conducted the ceremonial salute of these outstanding World
War II veterans.
The class visited the Tompkins-McCaw Library to view their class archives.
Military salute ceremony
Anthems of the service branches signaled the ceremony’s start as second-year
dental student Scott Shirk headed a combo playing a rousing medley. Dean David Sarrett,
D.M.D., gave a warm welcome to the 1951 classmates, their spouses, the surviving
spouses of deceased classmates, family and friends. Margaret Snellings, D.H. Class
of 2011, sang an impressive a capella rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Serving as master of ceremonies, retired Navy Capt. Fred Certosimo, D.M.D., M.S.Ed.,
the chair of the Department of General Practice, shared enlightening thoughts from
his visits with the alums and surviving spouses. Bob Bigelow, D.D.S., Class of 2009
and a general practice resident at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical
Center, sounded “Taps” to honor all deceased class members.
Tompkins-McCaw Library archivist, Jodi Koste, shared research from the D.D.S. Class
of 1951’s 60-year newsletter history, which is a part of the library’s
archives. Retired Army dentist James Burns, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S.Ed., associate dean
and chair of the Department of Oral Pathology, gave a moving summary of the lives
and legacies of the Class of 1951. National Guardsman Tom Koertge, D.M.D., Ph.D.,
vice chair of the Department of Periodontics, just days back from the war front,
presented the combat flag from recent missions in Afghanistan.
Alumni learned of the official commemorative coin, designed by Sara Stires, D.D.S.,
Class of 2011, commissioned to mark the occasion. The afternoon culminated with
the unveiling of the commemorative plaque honoring the Class of 1951’s service
to the nation, support of the school and inspiring class camaraderie.
Continuing education lecture
Not a single alumnus nodded off or slept a wink during the continuing education
presentation, “The Role of the Dentist in Screening and Testing Obstructive
Sleep Apnea,” presented by James Schroeder, D.D.S., and Michael McMunn, D.D.S.
Sixth Annual School of Dentistry Golf Invitational
The school held its sixth annual tournament on April 15, 2011. Thanks go to the
student golf committee for planning a spectacular event. As exceptional hosts and
ambassadors, the students connected alumni to their best memories of dental school.
Players were impressed with everything: the hospitality, course, lunches, organization,
prizes, truck and the $50,000 raised and given to the
Missions of Mercy project. Players reported having a terrific time all day
long. One experienced duffer, who plays in corporate and charity tournaments regularly,
told the students this was the best-run tournament he'd ever attended. As a former
Drug Enforcement Agency officer, he called it “totally squared away."
School of Dentistry cocktail reception at the Omni
Dave and Beth Sarrett and faculty kicked off the reunion weekend hosting a “Welcome
Back Alumni” reception. Over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, alumni and spouses
jumped right in to reminiscing about good times and reconnecting with old friends.
Dental hygiene party
Dental hygiene alums, spouses and students kicked up their heels at the D.H. Dance
Party on Friday night. Partygoers ate, drank and danced to the music of their respective
eras reconnecting to great memories and old times.
Second Annual School of Dentistry Car Show
Saturday’s weather didn’t turn out as hoped for, but a few of our loyal
alums ventured into the elements to bring reuniongoers a car show well-worth seeing.
Peter Moon, Ph.D., and David Moon showcased their 1928 Moon Arrowhead Roadster;
William Artrip, D.D.S., rolled in from West Virginia with his 1957 Pontiac Bonneville
Convertible; Harlan Schufeldt, D.D.S., triumphantly touted a 1960 Triumph Italia;
Gibby Button, D.D.S., shined up his 1970 Ford Mustang; and Frank Brown, D.D.S.,
cruised up from the beach in his 2006 Honda S-2000. We’re hoping for better
weather next year, gentlemen.
W. Baxter Perkinson Jr. painting demonstration
W. Baxter Perkinson Jr., D.D.S., alumnus and painter extraordinaire, demonstrated
his techniques for watercolor by creating a new masterpiece in less than 45 minutes.
Jerry Schonfeld, D.D.S. and wife Ann won the painting at an auction held to benefit
student scholarships. The Schonfelds were thrilled to capture one of Perkinson’s
paintings because of a special connection to the artist. As a boy, Perkinson received
treatment in the dental school clinic from senior dental student Jerry Schonfeld.
School of Dentistry dinner and awards
Classes gathered for a lovely dinner and more camaraderie at the reunion dinner
and awards ceremony. Alumni recognized for their outstanding service and contributions
were Rodney Klima, D.D.S., (D’74), who received the Dr. Harry Lyons Outstanding
Alumnus Award, and Claire Kaugers, D.D.S., (D’81), who was honored with the
Dr. James H. Revere, Jr. Outstanding Service Award. Trying to organize class photos
and the balloon entertainment put a smile on everyone’s face.
2011 Reunion class photos
Individual class photos include the classes of 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976,
1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.
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Clement Britt, Doug Buerlein, Ruth Compton and Molly Adler