Dr. Bruce Camp (’84) grew up in Alabama, graduated from the UAB School of Dentistry, and has lived and practiced dentistry in Georgia for 37 years. For the better part of those 37 years, he has been crossing state lines to maintain a strong bond with the School of Dentistry and its alumni association.

Camp has served two terms as the University of Alabama School of Dentistry Alumni Association president, a feat only accomplished once before, more than sixty years ago.

Dr. Stephanie Teichmiller (centered)Dr. Bruce Camp“I have stayed involved in our dental school since serving as president of our freshman class. My father taught me that you can't help or lead if you are not connected in your profession. During my General Practice Residency at Oklahoma Children's Hospital, it became very clear to me the UAB School of Dentistry had provided me with an excellent education and preparation for the residency and for practice. I want to promote UAB Dentistry and support our alumni association because I want our graduates to feel the same way about their education as I do about mine,” said Camp.

Service to his fellow man was instilled in Camp when he was quite young. The Talladega, Ala native’s dad was Rep. Ashley Camp, who served in the Alabama House of Representatives in the 1960s. At the age of six, Bruce Camp became the youngest page in state house history. “I remember taking coffee orders from all those legislators. My first paycheck was $34.36,” Camp chuckled as he remembered his days in Montgomery. Camp went on to attend and graduate from Auburn University. While there, he played trumpet in the marching band from 1976 to 1980. That’s also where he met his future wife, Sandi.

Growing up, he was surrounded by health care professionals, so choosing to pursue dentistry wasn’t a surprise. Camp’s father was a chiropractor and his mother worked at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. While dental school wasn’t easy, he says his upbringing gave him the solid foundation to be a successful student. After the one-year residency in Oklahoma, he and Sandi moved to Villa Rica, Ga to start a practice, not far from the Alabama state line.

Having a son, Dr. Nathan Camp (’16), attend and graduate from UAB, drew the elder Camp even closer to the school and alumni association. It also brought the two of them closer. Said Nathan, “I’ve learned a lot from him. There are so many things you don’t learn in dental school. During the day we get to collaborate and discuss patient care.” Bruce has taken notice that Nathan is sharpening his clinical skills every day. He added, “Being able to practice dentistry with our son, Nathan, has been a great joy to this father. I just had to have a little talk with my staff about them asking our patients if they wanted to see "young" Dr. Camp or "old" Dr. Camp. Nathan has brought so much energy into our practice. Obviously, I am so thankful and proud to have him with me. We have the opportunity to discuss difficult cases, learn from one another, and through this relationship, we both have grown as practitioners. A particularly pleasant bonus for me is that we have the opportunity to have lunch together almost every day. I think most fathers would enjoy that”.

Like his father, Nathan pursued a General Practice Residency, only his was at UAB. “I got a lot out of that one year. We learned to place implants, do oral sedation, and so many other things. I also had some outstanding professors like Drs. Paul Eleazer and Mike Edwards during my time at the School of Dentistry,” said Nathan.

While Nathan was in dental school, Bruce was working his way through the officer’s positions within the alumni association. He has driven across the Alabama-Georgia state line countless times for alumni meetings, helping fundraise, meeting with students, and serving as an ambassador to one of the nation’s largest dental alumni associations. “It has been an honor to serve our association as we welcomed Dean Taichman and it has been both an honor and a challenge as we navigated the role of our association through the very unwelcomed Covid pandemic. As for what I have enjoyed the most about being president, it boils down to relationships - with faculty, staff, fellow alumni, alumni association staff and students. Hopefully, someday I'll be sitting in a continuing education course or eating lunch in the food court at our alumni meeting and some young dentist will approach me and say, "You're the guy that placed that White Coat on my shoulders"... and we will have a nice visit together”, said Camp.

After he relinquishes his role as the UASOD Alumni Association president, Bruce Camp doesn’t plan to slow down his volunteer efforts. He’ll continue to serve on the Alumni Executive Council as past president. He says he wants to continue helping the school maintain its margin of excellence, and he’ll keep putting miles on his car as he crosses those state lines.