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The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor the UAB School of Dentistry can bestow upon an alumnus. One need only look at the list of past recipients to understand the impact they have had upon the dental profession.

Myers Award Joining that esteemed list, Gary Myers, D.M.D. (’75), was named the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Alabama School of Dentistry Alumni Association at Alumni Weekend 2024.

Myers is not an Alabama native. In fact, there was a time when it looked like he wasn’t even going to be a dentist. Fast forward about forty years and he has held just about every dental leadership position imaginable in the state.

After working in private industry for a few years out of college, Myers moved to Alabama. A UAB School of Dentistry faculty member talked him into applying to the D.M.D. program and as they say, the rest is history.

Upon graduating in 1975, he started a private general practice in Forestdale. He retired from that practice after thirty years and then spent several years practicing with Gordon R. Isbell, III, D.M.D., in Gadsden.

What Myers has done for the dental school, its alumni association, and the profession in Alabama has been remarkable.

Myers regularly mentors UAB dental students and young alumni. He has been president of all three dental organizations – the University of Alabama School of Dentistry Alumni Association, the Alabama Dental Association (ALDA), and the Alabama Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) – in the state. He may be the only person to serve simultaneously as president of the alumni association and ALDA, which was in 2016.

Nationally, he has served on various councils and committees for the AGD, including chair of the Real Estate Task Force which is responsible for purchasing and renovating the organization’s new headquarters building. He also travels across the country as an examiner for CDCA and CITA and is an active member of numerous organizations.

He now serves on the UAB Dentistry Leadership Council and as Executive Director of the Alabama AGD. He was instrumental in the Alumni Association endowing its first professorship.

Myers’s nominator said, “He constantly gives of himself to organized dentistry. After retiring he could have ridden off into the sunset with a job well done. Instead, he continues to work for all these organizations.”

As he presented the award, Interim Dean Nico Geurs, D.D.S., M,S., remarked, “As I read over the accomplishments of our 2023 Distinguished Alumnus, I figure you will all be nodding your heads thinking, ‘How has he not been named before?’ The answer is I don’t know, because he may be one of the most deserving recipients in the history of this award.”

Geurs called him a friend to everyone he meets, saying his influence on the state and the dental profession is second to none.

Myers humbly accepted the award, sharing that his motto has always been ‘it’s not about me, it’s all about we.’

Of his colleagues he said, “What we have done of this university and what each and every one of you in your own way have done is phenomenal. It makes me very proud that you have allowed me to be a part of this growth in our profession, and our school, and the organizations we have represented.”

Myers and his wife Scooter have been married for 57 years. They have two grown daughters and two grown sons. They also have 12 grandchildren ranging from 6 to 25 years of age. For many years, he was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts. His hobbies include woodworking and anything artistic.