The University of Oklahoma (OU) and Delta Dental of Oklahoma have announced a generous gift from Delta Dental of Oklahoma to the OU College of Dentistry. The $3.2 million lead gift, the largest single gift ever to OU, will support significant renovations toward the training of tomorrow’s dental professionals. This completes funding for the first phase of a $20 million renovation project underway at the OU College of Dentistry.
“The entire University is deeply grateful for the exceptional gifts by the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Oral Health Foundation to the College of Dentistry,” says OU President David L. Boren, J.D. “It is truly a transformative gift which will help keep our college among the very best in the nation.” He is recommending that the OU Board of Regents name the building’s comprehensive care clinics floor for Delta’s Oral Health Foundation.
“Our business and our Oral Health Foundation depend on having a supply of the best trained dentists throughout the state,” says John Gladden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Dental of Oklahoma. “Having a dental school in our state means we have more dentists across the state, which positively impacts the oral health of our population. Our gift, which is the largest in our history, is an endorsement of the quality of education provided by the OU College of Dentistry as well as support of new technologies and the teamwork approach for better oral care in the future.”
“The significant renovations of our building will ensure that the college remains competitive with other national dental schools in technology and contribute to further enhancing the overall quality of oral health care in this region,” says Stephen K. Young, D.D.S., M.S., Dean of the OU College of Dentistry. “These renovations will help to meet the growing and evolving needs of our students and ensure that the College of Dentistry continues its tradition of providing an outstanding, challenging education and state-of-the-art training environment.”
The Advanced Education Program in General Dentistry Clinic will move to the old Brown Clinic this summer, and the first of three comprehensive care clinics will be complete when the Burgundy Clinic reopens for the fall semester. Students will be crowded into two of the three clinics while work is completed but by the beginning of the spring 2014 semester, the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Oral Health Foundation Comprehensive Care Clinics Floor will be reopened to accommodate nine active group practices.
The comprehensive care clinics floor, a cornerstone of the renovation project, will support the OU College of Dentistry clinical approach to dental education by giving students a real-world professional environment in which to work and learn, says Stacey Reynolds, Coordinator of Continuing Education and Alumni Affairs.
In addition to the Delta Foundation gift, the University of Oklahoma and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust each contributed $3.2 million toward $9.6 million first phase funding of the $20 million Legacy Project capital campaign, the largest private fundraising effort in the College of Dentistry’s history.
More than 60% of Oklahoma’s dentists are graduates of the OU College of Dentistry. The college provides general dental and specialty care to Oklahomans through student, resident, and faculty practice clinics.