Howard University College of Dentistry (HUCD) held the groundbreaking ceremony for a new state-of–the art dentistry clinic on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. The clinic was made possible from a generous donation by HUCD alumnus and philanthropist, Amarjit Singh Marwah, D.D.S., for whom the clinic will be named The Dr. Amarjit Marwah Comprehensive Care Clinic. Dr. Marwah completed a donation of $500,000 for the clinic by presenting Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., M.B.A, FACS, with a check for $200,000 during the ceremony.
HUCD is the only dental college in the District of Columbia. Dr. Marwah has long been recognized as the man behind the smiles of scores of celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier and Muhammad Ali. Dr. Marwah, who is in his mid-90s, traveled from Los Angeles to Washington, DC to attend the ceremony.
“Alumni like Dr. Marwah are vital to the success of Howard University and we are deeply appreciative of his generous gifts to the college,” says Dr. Frederick, who attended the ceremony. “The new Marwah Comprehensive Care Clinic will enhance the education of our graduates, many of whom will go on to provide a significant share of oral health services in underserved communities.”
Dr. Marwah first came to the United States in the early 1950s from India. Arriving with mostly foreign medical credentials, Dr. Marwah had trouble setting up his own dentistry practice. What he needed most was an American D.D.S. The degree is required to become a general dentist in the United States.
He found the solution to the obstacle at HUCD. The school accepted Dr. Marwah for his final academic semesters and clinical work, allowing him to complete the D.D.S. requirements. HUCD also awarded Dr. Marwah a fellowship and a teaching position while he attended as a student. At the time, Dr. Marwah was the only foreign dental student at the college. He completed his D.D.S. in 1958.
“Howard University gave me an education. It gave me the privilege and the credentials I needed to practice dentistry in this country; without the Doctor of Dental Surgery from Howard, I couldn’t do that,” Dr. Marwah shares.
“The new Marwah Comprehensive Care Clinic will be a 3,000-square-foot, 22-chair, state-of-the-art facility and will enhance the clinical experiences of predoctoral and dental hygiene students,” says Andrea D. Jackson, D.D.S., M.S., FACP, FACD, Dean of HUCD. “The clinic will provide the long-awaited space for a faculty practice facility, which will serve patients requiring more advanced care while training our students.”
Among his many philanthropic achievements, Dr. Marwah helped to establish the Hollywood Sikh temple in 1969—the first such institution in the city. He also served for 18 years as an arts commissioner in Los Angeles. Internationally, he has supported many health and educational opportunities for the underserved in India. Dr. Marwah practiced in the United States for nearly 50 years, raising three daughters and teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.
Courtesy of Howard University College of Dentistry