Dr. Ingram receives the award.

When Ben Ingram, D.M.D., of Piedmont, AL was honored with the UAB School of Dentistry’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at the alumni association’s recent Alumni Weekend, the 1984 graduate said he was “humbled and surprised."

According to Scott Huffman who serves as the association’s executive director, "Dr. Ingram might have been the only one who was surprised."

That is because Ingram has been involved with the school's alumni association every year since his graduation. As an active member, he has served numerous years on its executive council, including five years as secretary and treasurer. He helped the association put a mechanism in place to donate more than $600,000 back to the school. He now serves as its president-elect. "I can’t think of a more deserving dentist,” added Huffman.

After earning his dental degree, Ingram moved back to his hometown of Piedmont to open the Ingram Family Dentistry practice. He has worked tirelessly to solve community problems and serve his patients. He attributes his wife, Sandra, his mentor Dr. Bruce Cunningham, and his dental office staff of 35 years for helping him make an impact.

In addition to his work in the community, Ingram is a member of numerous dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Alabama Dental Association, and the Alabama Academy of General Dentistry. He has also participated as a researcher in the National Dental-Practice Based Research Network.

“Serving on the alumni association's executive council has given me opportunity to work with many wonderful dentists and alumni association staff who love our dental school and profession," said Ingram. He added, "Together, we are striving to make dentistry better for our profession, our school, our professors, our students, and ultimately our patients. While there are many challenges facing dentistry in Alabama, it is exciting to see how our alumni association and its director work with our dental school and dean Russ Taichman for the common good."

One of the criterion for the Distinguished Alumnus Award is that of making significant and continuing contributions of time and financial resources. Ingram and his wife Sandra have been generous with their gifts. They have endowed the Benjamin Ingram Rural Bound Endowed Scholarship and given to numerous school projects throughout the years, including the recent Comprehensive Care Clinic renovation.

In addition to donating funds, Ingram has also given hundreds of hours of service to the school and its alumni association. As an officer of the Alumni Executive Council, he has met annually with third and fourth year dental students, offering advice on the “real world."

“When our students graduate, they need to be involved with our alumni association and take part in the opportunities that membership affords. Involvement provides a glimpse into what is happening at our very progressive dental school and offers an opportunity to interact with fellow dentists who share the same challenges and need for fellowship and collaboration,” said Ingram. He continued, “This is especially true for our younger dentists who are experiencing the challenges of educational and practice debt, the effects of insurance reimbursements, and the integrity of the dental profession, to name a few."