The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC announced its $115 million fundraising initiative as part of the $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California. The announcement was made at a celebratory event and picnic attended by faculty, students and alumni, and comes as the school celebrates its 115th anniversary.
The fundraising goal is the largest on record for any U.S. dental institution and will primarily support endowed student scholarships, faculty recruitment and retention, and facilities improvements and expansion.
USC president C. L. Max Nikias said: “Since its founding in 1897, the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has produced the majority of dental professionals in Southern California, contributing greatly to the health and well-being of people throughout this region. The school’s new fundraising initiative seeks to raise $1 million for each year of its impressive history, and it will play a vital role in the success of the overall Campaign for USC.”
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett spoke of the school’s impact on the reputation of USC as a whole.
“Over a century of distinction in the field of dentistry has brought widespread respect and acclaim to the members of our Ostrow School’s academic and practicing communities, and this success is reflected on the entire University of Southern California,” Garrett said. “Remember, however, that these last 115 years will be just a fragment on the timeline of the Ostrow School’s history; there is more to achieve, and you are positioned to take bold steps moving forward.”
“When you’re a part of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC community, you are a part of something special,” Ostrow School dean Avishai Sadan said. “You are a part of the school that in the last decade has reached more than 650,000 patients, the school that annually publishes dozen of cutting-edge discoveries, and – most importantly – the school that has educated more than 10,000 of the best dental professionals in the world.”
Ralph Allman ’57, DDS ’62, Ortho ’66, chair of the Ostrow School’s Board of Councilors, and other board members announced their $10 million joint commitment to support the initiative.
Future dentists and lifelong professors also reflected on the impact the Ostrow School has on their lives.
Dental school associate professor Richard Kahn, an Ostrow School alumnus as well as a faculty member, shared memories from his nearly 52 years at the school.
“I am proud of my association with the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC,” Kahn said. “It’s a wonderful place to work, and it’s been a wonderful place for me to learn and teach. I am confident we will continue and improve on our tradition of educational excellence.”
Vanessa Leewing, a member of the DDS class of 2014, said: “I’ve had a lot of really great experiences since coming to USC. I am so glad I chose the Ostrow School for my education, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the school.”
The launch will also be celebrated at the school’s annual Friends of Dentistry Gala on Sat., March 24, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. At this event, associate professor emeritus Sakae K. Tanaka will receive the inaugural Friends of Dentistry Excellence in Education Award in recognition of his more than four decades of service as a mentor to Ostrow students.
The fundraising initiative for the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC will conclude in 2018, coinciding with the culmination of the university’s campaign.