Members of the Class of 1981 from the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine traveled from as far away as Florida to celebrate their 40-year reunion recently. The intervening decades melted away at the get-together, hosted by Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD ’77, ’81, ’97, and Barbara Wolff in their home, as laughter and reminiscing brought back fond memories of the former classmates’ four years of predoctoral studies.
Friendships formed at the School of Dental Medicine have endured, according to the former class president, Barry Bass, DDS ’81. “We had a special connection,” Dr. Bass explained. “As a small group of 22, we got to know each other very well and shared both the good times and the difficult times.” In addition to marking the milestone of 40 years since their graduation, the reunion was especially meaningful following the challenges of the past two years.
But beyond the sentimental significance of this reunion, the Class of ’81 had another purpose for coming together — to support the dental students who will follow in their footsteps. With this in mind, the class established the School of Dental Medicine Class of 1981 Scholarship Fund, in recognition of and in gratitude to the faculty who made the high-quality education they received possible. The scholarship, once fully funded, will provide financial assistance for predoctoral students enrolled in the Doctor of Dental Surgery program.
“Stony Brook provided us with the best faculty you could acquire, and we feel very fortunate to have received the education and level of support that led to our success as a class,” said Dr. Bass. “With this scholarship, our goal is to support the reputation of the institution that has given us so much and provide merit-based support to students in need of assistance.”
Dr. Mark Wolff, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, recognizes the importance of alumni support and hopes this becomes a tradition. “As the first class to establish a scholarship fund, we hope this will encourage other classes to do the same,” he said.
“I am so grateful for the Class of 1981’s support for predoctoral students in their pursuit of excellence in education, patient care and discovery,” said Allan Kucine, DDS, who served as interim dean at the time and attended the reunion. “Our students are the future of our profession, so it is meaningful that our alumni are celebrating this milestone by establishing the School of Dental Medicine Class of 1981 Scholarship Fund.”
To learn more about supporting the School of Dental Medicine, please contact Eileen Colletti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View more photos from the Class of 1981’s reunion.
Alumni in the photo above:
Dr. Barry Bass
Dr. Susan Schlussel-Braun
Dr. Mark Wolff
Dr. Barry Elgort
Dr. Warren Zweiffler
Dr. Dean DelleDonne
Dr. Richard Goldman
Dr. Stewart Mandell
Dr. Jay Felsenstein
Dr. Jadie Shing DeTolla
Dr. Ira Brand
Dr. Robert Serino