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First female majority class graduates from Case Western

May 26, 2016
Photo of Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, ADA president, at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine
History: Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, ADA president, gave a commencement speech May 15 at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, as Dr. Kenneth B. Chance, dental school dean, and Dr. Kristin Z. Victoroff, associate dean for education, look on. In her speech, Dr. Summerhays highlighted that 42 of the 66 graduates were women, making the class of 2016 the first majority female graduating class in school history. The dental school was founded in 1892.

Cleveland
— Founded in 1892, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine has held its share of commencement ceremonies. However, its most recent one made school history.
    
Of the 66 students who received their dental degrees on May 15, 42 of them were women — making it the first majority female graduating class of Case Western dental school.
    
ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays highlighted the milestone in her commencement speech to Case Western dental school's class of 2016.

"When I graduated from dental school, one in every 20 dentists was female," Dr. Summerhays said. "We've come a long way to make sure that the opportunity to practice dentistry is available to every qualified individual."
    
The commencement ceremony highlights a change in dental schools and the profession over the past several decades. In 2014, 47.7 percent of first-year dental students were women, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute. That's up from 1.1 percent in 1968.

"At Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, anyone who applies to our school is treated fairly and equally, regardless of gender or race or any other factors," said Dr. Kenneth Chance, dean. "That says it all to me, and we're proud of that."