William E. Brown,
D.D.S., Founding Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (OU
COD), died Jan. 16, 2020.
“Dr. Brown was a
phenomenal individual, who laid an incredible foundation for the outstanding
program we have here today,” shares Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., Dean of the OU
The son of a
practicing dentist, Dr. Brown was originally from Benton Harbor, MI, and earned
his D.D.S. from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry (U-M SOD). After
graduation, he joined his father’s dental practice. He pursued specialty
training in pediatric dentistry, ultimately establishing a pediatric dentistry
practice in Ann Arbor, MI, which continued for 15 years.
Dr. Brown taught
in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the U-M SOD and in 1961, he became
a full professor, and a full-time faculty member in 1962. He also served as Associate
Dean for Graduate and Post-graduate Dentistry. Concurrent with his leadership
role in dental education, he became actively involved in organized dentistry
and served as President of the Michigan Dental Association, the American
Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pedodontics.
He was recruited
to OU in 1969 to initiate a facility and curriculum plan for what would become
Oklahoma’s premier dental school, the OU COD. The college officially opened its
doors in 1972 and saw its first dental class of 24 students graduate in 1976. Dr.
Brown served as Dean from 1969 to 1987 and was Acting Provost for OU Health
Sciences Center from 1973 to 1975. He successfully recruited high-caliber
dental educators in order to develop a dental program that became the standard
of excellence in dental education.
Dr. Brown retired
in 1987 and returned to his home state of Michigan after serving as founding
dean for 18 years. He leaves a legacy of service and academic excellence and
will be remembered for his invaluable contributions not only to OU COD but to
the entirety of the educational mission of the university. OU faculty, staff
and students will continue to benefit from the foundation of high-quality
education he established at the OU COD.
Courtesy of Oklahoma
University College of Dentistry
Published on Feb. 12, 2020