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In virtual celebration, American College of Dentists commemorates a century of service

Centennial anniversary to be held Oct. 14-15

July 23, 2020

By Kimber Solana

Photo of Dr. Gehani with ACD leaders
The presidents: From left, Drs. James Settersberg, Chad Gehani, Terry Brewick and Stephen Ralls pose for a photo at the International College of Dentists, American College of Dentists and Pierre Fauchard Academy luncheon at the Chicago Mid-Winter Meeting in February. Dr. Gehani, ADA president, was its keynote speaker.
Gaithersburg, Md. — The American College of Dentists knows a thing or two about responding to pandemics.
   
It was born in 1920 — in the immediate end of the 1918 flu pandemic — with a mission to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism and leadership in dentistry. It’s not about to let COVID-19 stop it from celebrating 100 years of service.
   
Image of American College of Dentists seal
100 years: The American College of Dentists is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Image courtesy of American College of Dentists 
The American College of Dentists will commence virtually its 2020 Annual Meeting and Centennial Celebration on Oct. 14-15.
   
“From early March to the present, we have been in what has been referred to as suspended animation,” said Dr. Theresa S. Gonzales, executive director. “Most, if not all, conferences have been canceled for the foreseeable future and this was necessary in the context of risk mitigation and more importantly, life preservation.”
   
The virtual meeting and celebration, which replaces the in-person event scheduled Oct. 14-15 in Orlando, Florida, will include two full days of events. These include the Fellows Forum and a keynote address by Dr. Karl Haden, who will discuss the nine virtues of exceptional leaders based on his best-selling book of the same name.
   
In addition, Dr. Gonzales will deliver Our First 100 Years — the Narrative History of the American College of Dentists.
   
“Born in the Roaring Twenties, [the college is] now celebrating a century of service in what may come to be known as the ‘Raging Twenties,” Dr. Gonzales said.
   
In addition, the virtual event will involve the convocation of new fellows, President-elect Leo E. Rouse’s address, and recognition of the 2020 award recipients, including Drs. David W. Chambers and Jeanne C. Sinkford, this year’s William John Gies Award recipients.
   
The college had planned a series of 100th anniversary celebrations this year, culminating with its annual meeting and centennial celebration. In January, the college’s New England Section, in conjunction with the Yankee Dental Conference, hosted a black-tie event at the Copley Plaza Hotel, the site of where the college was founded in 1920. That celebration was followed by festivities at the Chicago Mid-Winter Meeting and the New York Section meetings.
   
However, by March, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the remaining in-person celebratory plans.

Founded on Aug. 20, 1920, by the president, president-elect and secretary of the National Dental Association — now the American Dental Association — and other dental leaders, the college is the oldest major honorary organization for dentists.
   
ACD Anniversary
Dr. Gonzales. Photo courtesy of American College of Dentists 
During its 100-year history, the college was instrumental in founding the American Association of Dental Editors and Journalists and developing related standards for professional publications. It pushed for the founding of a national dental examining board and initiated a student loan program.
   
“I have been a proud member of ACD for over 20 years,” said Dr. Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, ADA executive director. “The ACD’s focus on ethics has elevated the profession’s reputation and emphasized as core to the profession of dentistry. Congratulations on this fantastic milestone. Happy anniversary, ACD.”
   
In recent years, the college has organized four ethics summits and produced several white papers on ethics, provided over 152,000 online ethics courses, and the college has distributed the Ethics Handbook for Dentists to dental students in the U.S. and Canada.

“It is not possible to know what the next 100 years will bring to our organization and our combined missions but if past is prologue, our future has limitless possibilities as we embark upon our second century of service,” Dr. Gonzales said.
   
To learn more about the virtual ACD 2020 Centennial Celebration and Annual Meeting, visit acd.org.