College Of Dental Medicine Celebrates 90th Anniversary

One of First Dental Colleges, In Vanguard of Health Advances

Gala Celebration to Honor Distinguished Alumni & Faculty; Announcement of Capital Campaign Launch

NEW YORK – The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, a national leader in dental education, community service, and research, will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a gala celebration featuring alumni and faculty awards, on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007.

Founded in 1916, the College is considered one of the earliest dental schools to have a university affiliation. Today it remains a national leader in dental education, patient care, community service and research. It boasts an orthodontic program that is among the oldest in the nation. The College trains the best and brightest dental students in the nation – with average scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) consistently among the very highest in the nation.

In addition to its educational mission, the College has taken a leadership role in national healthcare policy issues. Its faculty have advocated for expanded oral healthcare for both children and the elderly and have developed novel programs to expand care locally and in developing countries around the world. The College’s robust research program is at the vanguard of oral health advances. Current projects include research into the use of stem cells for craniofacial reconstruction and the relationship between oral health and systemic diseases.

“This is a proud moment for our distinguished faculty and alumni. This celebration is an opportunity to honor our legacy of innovation and achievements and to plan the future of dental medicine at Columbia. We recommit to our three-part mission of educating the next generation of dentists, of developing novel ways to provide dental care for the underserved, and of conducting innovative research,” said Ira B. Lamster, DDS, MMSc, dean of the College of Dental Medicine since 2001.

“The College of Dental Medicine is a key component of our medical center, with its dental students sitting side by side our medical students for the first two years of training, and its faculty collaborating across our health disciplines on key research initiatives,” said Lee Goldman, MD, executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences of Columbia University and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We congratulate the College on this significant anniversary.”

Marking the 90th Anniversary: Alumni, Faculty Awards & Historical Exhibit

At the celebration, four alumni will be honored for their exemplary achievements:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Irwin D. Mandel, DDS, a 1945 graduate of the school and professor emeritus in dentistry

Professional Service Award: Susan Karabin, DDS, a 1981 graduate and president-elect of the American Academy of Periodontology

Research Achievement Award: Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD, a 1977 graduate and director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health

Community Outreach Award: Robert P. Renner, DDS, a 1968 graduate and volunteer for Save the Children

College of Dental Medicine faculty and officers of administration with 25 or more years of full time service will be honored. These faculty and officers include: Dory Caley, DDS; Thomas J. Cangialosi, DDS; Martin J. Davis, DDS; Stella Efstratiadis, DDS; Allan J. Formicola, DDS; Richard Lichtenthal, DDS; Douglas M. McAndrew.; Letty Moss-Salentijn, DDS, PhD; Ronnie Myers, DDS; Zoila E. Noguerole; and, David J. Zegarelli, DDS.

In addition, as part of the 90th anniversary celebration, the college will host an historical exhibit in the Rotunda of Low Library on the Columbia University Morningside campus (Broadway at West 116th Street) from Oct. 16 through Nov. 6. The exhibition, open to the public, will feature archived photographs and a review of the College and its founders.

The exhibit will also feature the sculpture of Irwin Ferber Silvers, a College of Dental Medicine alum, whose work has been featured in New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), among other renowned locations.

Capital Campaign Launched to Support Future Innovations

The 90th anniversary celebration marks the launch of the college’s capital campaign, which aims to raise $15 million in outright gifts and pledges and an additional $15 million in estate gifts, to support its mission to achieve excellence in dental education, patient care and research.

The monies raised will be used to expand scholarships and student loans; to fund recruitment and support for outstanding faculty; to support the college’s innovative research projects and community initiatives; and to renovate facilities where professional dental care is provided to thousands of residents of northern Manhattan.

To make a donation: Those interested in making a donation to the College of Dental Medicine, should contact Nancy Mathiasen in the Columbia University Medical Center Development Office at 212-342-5612 or

Founding, Shaping the College of Dental Medicine

Columbia’s dental school was the result of an effort by a group of influential, independent New York dentists, physicians, and scientists who formed the Committee for a Columbia University Dental School in 1916. Along with Dr. William J. Gies, the group included brothers Henry Sage Dunning and William Bailey Dunning, Arthur H. Merritt, Henry S. Vaughn, Leuman M. Waugh, and William Jarvie.

Breaking tradition with most dental schools, the committee recommended that students train in a university environment where they would receive grounding in the basic and health sciences in joint classes with medical students. Columbia, with its College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S), founded in 1767 and was the first medical school to confer the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in what is now the United States, offered this opportunity.

Columbia’s dental school opened in 1916 as the School of Dentistry within P&S, then located at 437 West 59th Street in Manhattan. The inaugural class had two students, both in a six-year combined Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree program.

In 1923, the school merged with the already established College of Dental and Oral Surgery of New York. The new entity, known as the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery, had two buildings on East 34th and East 35th Streets. In 1928 the school moved to occupy the top three floors of the Vanderbilt Clinic building at the newly-opened Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, as Columbia University Medical Center was then called, in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan.

In January 2006, the school was renamed the College of Dental Medicine to better reflect its increasing focus on oral health as a central component of total health, as well as the school’s solid foundation in the biomedical sciences.

The College of Dental Medicine is one of four schools that comprise Columbia University Medical Center, along with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health and the School of Nursing.

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Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, nurses, dentists, and public health professionals at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. For more information, visit


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