Commencement 2014

May 30th, 2014

Dental hygiene graduate Stefanie Lund

A time-tested rite of passage for a new class of graduates

Commencement exercises on May 29 offered Dr. Richard Box, an Austin-based dentist, Aggie alum and Chairman Emeritus of the Texas A&M System Board of Regents, the opportunity to share a few pointers with members of the Class of 2014.

“Never give up completely that which is tried and true, and never accept completely that which is brand new,” said Box, the keynote speaker for the event, which was at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, drawing from the wisdom of one of his own professors.

“That can apply to just about anything we do in life, but it particularly applies to dentistry. You can be constantly approached with new products to buy and new methods to try,” he said as he reflected on the myriad discoveries within the dental profession — including adhesives, composite resins, fiber optics, lasers, digital X-rays and implants — since his own graduation more than 50 years ago.

“Which brings us to the fact that the body of knowledge is expanding by exponential proportions, and we get information instantly by electronics.

“This past week you were students. Today you are graduates. Tomorrow you become students again; for we are all students for the rest of our lives.”

Awards and recognition

Graduates as well as faculty were recognized during the ceremony, including Dental Teacher of the Year Dr. Robert Spears, professor in biomedical sciences, and Dental Hygiene Teacher of the Year Laura Gene Utt, an assistant clinical professor in TAMBCD’s Caruth School of Dental Hygiene.

Among graduates recognized for academic achievements were Drs. Patrick Hodges, Austin Hodges, Charlene Garcia and Spencer Mack in the dental class and Amy Fujarski, Joey Allbritton and Hanh Nguyen in the dental hygiene class, who each were awarded scholastic honors. Dr. Lindsay Pigg was honored with the Baylor Oral Health Foundation Centennial Award.

— Jennifer Fuentes