The Alumni Association had its beginning at the Ohio Medical University. The first mention was in the 1897-1898 annual announcements which stated that the alumni of Ohio Medical University met and elected officers on the afternoon of commencement day. The first officers were all physicians, but it was stated that graduates from all departments were eligible for membership. The fourteenth annual meeting was held on May 8, 1907. The last directory of alumni was published in the 1907-1908 Bulletin. There is no further mention of the association in the remaining issues of the Bulletins of the Starling Ohio Medical College (through 1914).
After becoming a part of The Ohio State University, the College of Dentistry did not have its own alumni association. Alumni affairs were under the jurisdiction of The Ohio State University Alumni Association. The first efforts to strengthen alumni ties with the University were made by Dean Wendell Postle through establishing a continuing dental education program at the College in the form of short courses in the various disciplines and the Dental Post College Assembly, which was irïitiatèd in 1939. These programs have continued to grow and prosper together with an extensive graduate program.
From the Dean’s Corner, in Volume 1, Number 2, August 1972, issue of The OSU Articulating Paper, the student newspaper of The OSU Dental School, Dean John R. Wilson made the following statement: “A Strong alumni association is important to our growth and strength. Many alumni have asked that such an alumni group be started. We have communicated with the Directors of the University Alumni Association who will help with the initial organizational procedures.”
At a meeting of the Deans Advisory Committee in 1976, Dean Howell expressed his interest and desire to establish a dental alumni group. The idea was picked up by Dr. Nick Houston, a member of the Ohio State Dental Board who then called Drs. John G. Kramer, Robert K. Bowen and Thomas E. Hull. They immediately set out (with the help of The Ohio State University Alumni Association) to organize a steering committee to pursue the development of a constituent alumni association.
Members of the steering committee were: Drs. John G. Kramer, Robert K. Bowen, Thomas E. Hull, Norman J. Burns, Kenneth M. Clemens, Barry L. Gilbert, David C. Bell, Richard I. Weàver and Richard A. Jeffrey. At the first meeting, Dr. Morgan Allison was added as faculty representative, Scott Sayre as student representative, Ron Hopper as the Alumni Association representative and Harold Wilson as the administration representative.
The steering committee first met on November 6, 1976. The two major topics of discussion were association objectives and the establishment of a constitution. The objectives of the association were established as: .
- Encourage and support academic and clinical excellence.
- Provide a quarterly publication for the association.
- Promote fellowship among alumni and students.
Meetings were held in January and February to draw up the constitution, propose committees and send out the first enrollment letters. At the January meeting, Dr. William C. Dew was unanimously chosen as editor of the proposed publication. The constitution was finalized in March 1977 and prepared for the first annual meeting, which was held on April 21, 1977. At this meeting, the constitution was approved and officers of the Board of Governors were elected for the year. They were: Dr. John Ç.Kramer, President; Dr. Norman J. Burns, President-Elect; Dr. Thomas E. Hull, Secretary-Treasurer and Drs. Barry L. Gilbert, Richard I. Weaver and David C. Bell as members at large.
Other members of the Board of Governors by virtue of office were: Dr. Morgan Allison, Faculty Representative; Dr. Robert K. Bowen, College of Dentistry representative to the Advisory Board of The Ohio State University Alumni Association; Dr. Kenneth M. Clemens, Chairman of the Steering Committee; Mr. Ron Hopper, Associate Director of The Ohio State University Alumni Association and Judson R. Wynkoop, President of the College of Dentistry Student Council.
The Dental Alunmi Association has continued to grow and prosper and supports an office in the College of Dentistry. At the April 16, 1993, annual meeting, the general assembly approved a motion to amend the Constitution and change the Alumni Association’s name to the Dental Alumni Society. At the time of this writing, there are more than 3,000 paid members (1,712 are life members) from approximately 7,275 living alumni who are on record.