June 16, 2015
Through a weekend of ceremonies and celebrations, University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry honored the Class of 2015's successful completion of a rigorous program of dental studies and clinical work.
The school's 121st annual commencement activities took place on June 12-14 at various venues in San Francisco. The events recognized students graduating from the following programs: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS); International Dental Studies (IDS); Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene; Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD); Master of Science in Dentistry, Orthodontics; Advanced Education in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; and the International General Dentist Educator Program.
The Pacific Dugoni Alumni Association welcomed the newest alumni into their ranks at a night of fine dining, awards, dancing and camaraderie on Friday, June 12. Held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, the black-tie Alumni/Graduate Banquet is one of the last opportunities for the graduating students to gather as a class before commencement. A celebration of all-around achievement, the dinner included an awards ceremony recognizing students for excellence in scholarship, leadership and community service. Dr. Jennifer E. Tung and Dr. Basil Al Shaikhly were announced as the valedictorians of the DDS and IDS Class of 2015, respectively, and the class leaders presented their class gift of $53,901 to the school. This total includes gifts and pledges from DDS and IDS students, and matching funds generously donated by the Alumni Association, Dean Ferrillo, Dr. Eddie Hayashida, Dr. Ed Bedrossian and by parents and friends of graduates. Dr. Bill van Dyk '73, Alumni Association president, also addressed the Class of 2015.
Friends, family and significant others were honored by graduates at the Thanks a Bunch Brunch held at San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel on Saturday, June 13. During the brunch, graduates recognized the loved ones who provided emotional and financial support through the challenges of dental school. As group practice leaders read aloud personal notes of appreciation written by graduates, each honoree was presented with a "Ph.T" certificate in "Putting him/her Through." The brunch is a heartwarming tradition that celebrates the importance of family, loved ones and friends in the lives of dental students.
Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) honor society inductees were recognized at a special dinner held on Saturday, June 13, at The Olympic Club. Omicron Kappa Upsilon is a national dental honor society that admits only the top 12 percent of the graduating class. Members are voted into the honor society by current faculty members who make their selections based on leadership, character and scholarship. OKU members graduate with high honors.
OKU chapter president Dr. Bruce Peltier and Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr. inducted the following Class of 2015 graduates into OKU: Basil Al Shaikhly (IDS), Christopher N. Duhn, Christian S. Favero, Franco R. Ferrara, Kari S. Harnick, Margaret A. Hostage, Matthew J. Kelly, Amanda R. Kronquist, Gianna C. Ligouri, Peter J. March, Taylor L. Mitchell, Scott D. Morgan, Jhankhana Shah (IDS), Brett M. Springer, Jennifer E. Tung, Scott P. Young, Holly K. Yuen and Benjamin N. Zuniga. Part-time faculty membership was extended to Dr. Homer Asadi, and honorary membership was extended to Dr. Daniel Bender.
In previous weeks, students were also inducted into other honor societies.
The Class of 2015 Commencement Ceremony was held on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at The Masonic in San Francisco. Dean Ferrillo gave the welcoming remarks followed by an address by Dr. Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific, and the conferring of degrees. DDS and IDS valedictorians Dr. Jennifer Tung and Dr. Basil Al Shaikhly also addressed the audience and reflected on their experiences at Pacific Dugoni. Dr. Tung is the daughter of Dr. William Lundergan '81, professor and chair of the Department of Periodontics who himself was valedictorian of his class. It is the first time in school history that a parent and child have both earned class valedictorian status. Dean Ferrillo closed the ceremony with words of inspiration for graduates as they embark on the next stages of their professional and personal lives.
While many graduates from the DDS and IDS Classes of 2015 have plans to go into private practice, Dugoni School of Dentistry graduates take many different paths, including postgraduate residency programs, military service, public health, entrepreneurship, research and more. This year, 60 students from the DDS and IDS Classes of 2015 will go on to postgraduate programs across the country in Advanced Education in General Dentistry (16), Endodontics (1), General Practice Residency (21), Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (6), Orthodontics (8), Pediatric Dentistry (5), Periodontics (2) and Prosthodontics (1).