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VCU establishes chair to support residency program

April 07, 2014

By Kimber Solana, ADA News staff

Dr. Abubaker
Richmond, Va.—Dr. A. Omar Abubaker, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry's chair of its Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, can add a new title under his name.

Dr. Abubaker is the school's first S. Elmer Bear Chair, created by several alumni's renewed commitment to preserve the memory of Dr. S. Elmer Bear, founder of the department's residency program.

The chair is named after Dr. Bear, who died in 1981. Dr. Bear served as the first chairman and founder of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency program. The funds will be used to enhance the educational experience of future residents while keeping Dr. Bear's legacy alive.

As the inaugural chair, Dr. Abubaker will have added support to help the school's residency program's continued development through recruitment and retention of faculty and residents.

The chair was established with about $1.1 million raised largely from alumni contribution, including recent graduates who were not trained by and never met Dr. Bear.

"This new role allows me to recruit the best and the most qualified faculty to teach the full scope of the specialty, attract the best candidates for oral and maxillofacial surgery training positions and continue to the advance excellent and contemporary patient care thorough clinical practice and research," said Dr. Abubaker, currently the chair of the school's Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.