East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine’s (ECU SDM) first graduating class was preparing for life after graduation, they were also preparing to leave a gift to the school. The Class of 2015 established the Inaugural Class Patient Care Endowment Fund to support patient care and student
The Endowment, which received 100% participation from the 50 graduates and matching funds from the ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation and other contributors, currently stands at $33,000. Class President Philip Cochran, D.M.D., and Vice President Kelly Walsh, D.M.D., presented the gift at the
school’s Commencement in May. ADEA President and CEO Dr. Rick Valachovic was this year’s Commencement speaker.
Dr. Walsh says, “The Class of 2015 takes great pride in the palpable impact that the school is already having on North Carolina, and we are inspired by our faculty’s commitment to service. Our dedication to carrying out the school’s mission and fulfilling our class pledge extends beyond our years here. It is
with this in mind that we have established the patient fund.”
Kristen Ward, ECU SDM’s Director of Development, says, “The inaugural class has created a legacy that speaks to their exceptional commitment to service and to our school, community and patients. This endowment will provide support for patients in need at Ross Hall clinics and broaden opportunities for ECU dental
students in perpetuity.”
The Class of 2015 has been at the forefront of a unique model of dental education that gave them the opportunity to serve patients at community service learning centers in underserved areas across North Carolina.
The class also leaves behind a remarkable legacy of service. The students and their faculty mentors engaged in hundreds of hours of volunteer service to organizations, including the JOY Soup Kitchen, Relay for Life, Dominican Republic Mission, NC Missions of Mercy, Give Kids a Smile, Hope Lodge, Baptist
Men’s Dental Bus, and Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program.
In a letter to the faculty, Dr. Cochran shares, “We do not take your demonstration of commitment lightly. Our class has decided to emulate your passion for service and leave our mark on the school of dental medicine with this fund.”
“The Inaugural Class Patient Care Endowment Fund is just another example of how the Class of 2015 has helped shape our school,” says E. Gregory Chadwick, D.D.S., M.S., Dean of ECU SDM. “We are incredibly proud of these new doctors, and we thank them for their generosity and for setting the bar very high in all
respects for classes to follow.”