dentistry alumni

The alumni association serving the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry hosted its annual Alumni Weekend on Feb. 1-4 at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel. The weekend consisted of continuing education courses and opportunities to connect with exhibitors, as well as reunion times for classes stemming as far back as the class of 1953.

As part of the weekend’s festivities, incoming Alumni Association president, Stanley Beard, DMD, was announced during one of the weekend’s programs. A general dentist with a private practice in Jackson, Alabama, Beard will oversee the association’s alumni base of 1,500, which includes national and international members, as well as philanthropic contributions and communication for the association.

Two alumni received awards recognizing their commitment to the School of Dentistry and field of dentistry in Alabama. John Barnes, DMD, was the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Dentistry Award, and David Roden, DMD, received the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Read more about the weekend in UAB News.

Dr. Paul Weeks

Dr. Paul R. Weeks, Sr. has taken the first step to endow a professorship to benefit the UAB School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontology. The Huntsville, Ala periodontist is making a total gift of $500,000 that includes current giving and estate giving. Weeks graduated from the UAB School of Dentistry in 1977 and completed the periodontics post-graduate program at UAB in 1979. He said the school and the Department of Periodontology have come a long way since he attended.

“My two year residency gave me the valuable skills I needed to start my own practice and to continue the ongoing educational process. The program gave me an excellent base to springboard from,” he said.

Dr. Weeks has provided leadership to several dental organizations during his 38-year career. He currently serves on the UAB Dentistry Leadership Council, the school’s fundraising and advisory board. Through his service on the Leadership Council and previous service as a part-time clinical instructor at the School of Dentistry, he said he was keenly aware of the need to endow a faculty position. “I have been blessed with an excellent education which has enabled me to provide optimal care for my patients. I am glad to give back and keep our school among the best in the country. That’s what the citizens of Alabama and the dental students and residents deserve.”

He has been involved with prior fundraising campaigns to help the school, including the Weatherford-Palcanis Endowed Professorship in periodontology. He said he hopes other alumni will acknowledge the importance of having an excellent faculty and contribute to similar efforts. “I know they realize how much the UAB School of Dentistry has done for us.  Now, more than ever, the school needs our assistance. I would like to challenge our alumni, especially older alumni like myself, to step up and make a gift. They might also consider leaving something from their estate,” he said.

Although he has worked hard for nearly four decades, Weeks still finds time to enjoy life outside of dentistry. He enjoys traveling with his wife, Alicia, and enjoys cycling, fishing, hiking and snow skiing.

When asked to reflect on his time as a dental student and resident, Weeks admitted, “it wasn’t all roses and it wasn’t easy”, but he says he’s honored to give back to UAB and give future students and residents the same opportunity he had. He wants others from his generation to know that the school doesn’t receive the state funding it once did. “Hopefully others will follow in my footsteps and give back. It is an honor to give to my school”.

Second year dental student Hamilton Behlen is educating students on nutrition and health -- and she is doing it as a member of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) global corps of leaders who promote positive change. Read about Behlen’s exciting and innovative “edible education” project in the ASF blog post, From garden to table.


Dr. CumbusOn a beautiful summer day earlier this month, a total solar eclipse darkened the skies from Oregon to South Carolina. At the same time, the UAB School of Dentistry experienced its own eclipse of sorts. The Campaign for UAB Dentistry surpassed the $20 million mark thanks to the generosity of so many donors. That doesn’t mean the campaign and its leadership are ready to ride off into the sunset, though. With more than one year remaining, we still have several needs to address including facility upgrades and endowments for our faculty and students.

In this letter to UAB Dentistry alumni and friends, Campaign Chair Dr. Ben Cumbus highlights some of the campaign’s achievements, but explains there is much more to be accomplish. 


Dr. Hugh B. Harmon (‘58) and his wife, Dr. Maryhelen C. Harmon have endowed a scholarship within the UAB School of Dentistry with a gift of approximately $104,000. The Harmon-Cleverly Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a UAB School of Dentistry student who shows solid academic promise and achievement. The Harmons made the gift in memory of Dr. Paul Hammons, who taught and mentored Hugh Harmon and other dental students.

Dr. Harmon said he and Dr. Hammons had a great relationship in dental school and beyond. “He was a great professor and teacher. We became the greatest friends. He was a stickler for perfection. He was a great mentor and friend,” he said.

Both Dr. Harmons earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alabama in 1952. After graduating from the School of Dentistry, Dr. Hugh Harmon served on the faculty as a clinical instructor from 1958 to 1960. However, having his own practice in the warmth of the Florida sunshine soon called them to Dunedin where they still reside. Hugh served his patients from 1960 to 2005. All the while, Maryhelen had an accomplished career in academia. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Florida in 1962 and was awarded her Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1981. She served on the faculty at the University of South Florida as professor of English. In recognition of her achievements, Maryhelen was named the USF Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1987.

“She supported me while I was in dental school and I supported her when she was in school,” said Dr. Harmon. They both enjoyed their time associated with the UAB School of Dentistry. Maryhelen was president of the dental auxiliary and Hugh was making his mark in the clinics.

Both Drs. Harmon are now retired and relish the quiet life of Dunedin, a small community near Tampa, Florida. They enjoy gardening and spending time with one another. Hugh Harmon said they sought to endow a scholarship because they wanted to “carry on the tradition of excellent dental care.”