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The School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s 2023 Alumni Weekend was another huge success, with more than 1,900 total participants.

While the total number of registered dentists and staff was top five in all-time attendance (847), the total number of students, exhibitors, sponsors, and continuing education hours all set records. Several hundred dentists, spouses, and guests attended reunions and special events in conjunction with Alumni Weekend.

Dr. Melodie Jones, Dr. Jason “Bucky” Etherton, Dr. Parrish King , and Dr. Benjamin Ingram Dr. Melodie Jones, Dr. Jason “Bucky” Etherton, Dr. Parrish King , and Dr. Benjamin IngramThe weekend kicked off UAB School of Dentistry’s 75th anniversary. One of the highlights was the annual Distinguished Dentist Reception. The reception was held on opening night to honor the dental school’s top donors. “Through the generosity of our alumni, friends, and Alumni Association, the school has been able to upgrade its facilities, endow student scholarships, and endow faculty positions, all within the last year,” said Dr. Russell Taichman, Dean. Prior to the gala, Dr. Taichman recognized two alumni with special awards. Dr. Derrick Mendez (’14) was recognized as the Outstanding Young Alumnus. His nominator, Dr. Gary Myers (’75) said, “Dr. Mendez was a star dental student, and his star has shined brighter as a young dentist as evidenced by his leadership in organized dentistry”. Dr. Stanley Beard (’89) was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Beard has logged thousands of volunteer hours, including service as the Alumni Association president in 2018, and committee member for the school’s admissions committee.

Alumni Weekend held something for everyone. Continuing education courses for implants, restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, digital dentistry, practice management, financial planning, and staff development were just a few of the featured topics. Alumni Dr. David Sarver (’77) and Dr. Anissa Holmes (’99) also came back to lecture for their alma mater’s Alumni Weekend. Dr. Holmes led two sessions, one was to a packed house of third and fourth year dental students. “I absolutely loved coming back to Birmingham (from Fort Lauderdale, FL) to share my experiences with the students. They were so eager to learned and I really enjoyed visiting with them after the lecture,” said Holmes.

Dentists from fourteen different states attended the 2023 Alumni Weekend. At the President’s reception, Dr. Benjamin Ingram (’84) of Piedmont, AL, passed the gavel to Dr. Jason “Bucky” Etherton (’97) of Valley, AL. Etherton was elected president at the Alumni Association’s Annual Meeting, which kicked off Alumni Weekend. Other officers elected were President-Elect Dr. Parrish King (’07) of Andalusia, AL; Vice President Dr. Clay Wright (’01) of Dothan, AL; Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Melodie Jones (’92); and Dr. Benjamin Ingram as Immediate Past-President.

Proceeds from the Alumni Weekend meeting help fund facility upgrades, student scholarships, programming, travel, and faculty development throughout the year. During 2022, the Alumni Association gifted or pledged more than $250,000 to various School of Dentistry initiatives.