Baltimore — The University of Maryland School of Dentistry, the first dental college in the world, celebrated a new milestone May 30 — its 175th anniversary.
“In conveying admiration for venerable institutions, people often generously use the word ‘pioneering,’ but there is nothing inflated about applying that term to our School of Dentistry,” said Jay A. Perman, M.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore in a pre-recorded address to the 250 faculty staff, students, alumni and friends who gathered at the Baltimore Hyatt Regency.
“You are, of course, the world’s very first dental college,” he said. “But my deep pride is rooted in the fact that, these many years later, you’re still one of the best.”
Its founders, Drs. Horace H. Hayden and Chapin A. Harris, first established the school in 1840 as the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. According to the School of Dentistry website, BCDS served as a prototype for dental schools gradually established in other American cities. The present dental school evolved through a series of consolidations, the final of which in 1923 when BCDS and the Dental Department of the University of Maryland were combined to create a distinct college of the university.
Dr. Mark A. Reynolds, dean of the School of Dentistry, welcomed the crowd to the celebration, along with Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robison, the evening’s keynote speaker. In addition, several special guests included past deans of the dental school and past presidents of the university.
“Throughout our school’s history, our tradition of excellence in dental education, research and service has been safeguarded by the support of our dedicated alumni and friends,” said Dr. Reynolds. “Your support helps enable our world-class faculty to advance science, offer outstanding service and clinical care and provide an exceptional education for our students.”