Bulletin of Dental Education

Western Kentucky University Celebrates 50 Years of Dental Hygiene Education

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Allan F. Godby, D.M.D.
In the spring of 1972, Western Kentucky University (WKU) graduated its first dental hygiene class. Envisioned by former President Kelly Thompson, J.S.D., during the early 1960s, the WKU Dental Hygiene Program took flight under the direction of Allan F. Godby, D.M.D., while he was professor and head of the program. In the fall of 1969, Dr. Godby was responsible for designing the program curriculum, the facilities and recruiting both faculty and students.    

In the fall of 1970, the WKU Dental Hygiene Program admitted its first class of 17 students to launch the program. This first class completed the main hygiene clinic in the early part of 1971. Read the Junior American Dental Hygienist's Association 1970-1972 scrapbook here. Over the past 50 years, updates, upgrades and expansions have shaped the hygiene program to what it is presently.

Though no longer with us, President Thompson and Dr. Godby would no doubt be overjoyed to see how this vision from half a century ago has developed to rise to the level that it has become today.

Please join us in celebrating 50 years of pursuing the Western Kentucky University’s mission to provide a quality educational experience, instill professionalism, encourage life-long learning and assist students in the pursuit of excellence in their chosen profession of dental hygiene. 

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From left to right: Dental Hygiene Lab in 1971 and 2015 at Western Kentucky University.

Courtesy of Terry Dean, D.M.D., Associate Professor, Dental Hygiene Program, School of Nursing and Allied Health, Western Kentucky University

Published on September 14, 2022

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