Decades of dazzling smiles celebrated at luncheon

May 6th, 2024

Alumni of the dental hygiene class of 1974.

The Texas A&M School of Dentistry dental hygiene program, and its students past and present, were celebrated at a luncheon April 26 at the Arts District Mansion in downtown Dallas.

The theme for this year’s event was Decades of Dazzling Smiles, and members of the class of 1974 were the guests of honor, marking 50 years since they graduated from what was then Baylor College of Dentistry.

DH2 Class President Tristan Mounts welcomed guests, noting that everyone present was connected through their heart of service for their school and the dental hygiene profession.

The class of 1974 and the graduating class of 2024 were honored at the dental hygiene luncheon, hosted at the Dallas Arts District Mansion.

“As we take this journey down memory lane, we’re reminded of the countless lives touched by the dedication and expertise of dental hygienists …,” she said. “Each decade has brought new innovations, challenges and triumphs to the field of oral health. Today’s luncheon is a testament to the enduring spirits and commitment that defines our dental hygiene community.”

In an address to the crowd, Professor Martha Estrada, class of ’03 and 2024 Teacher of the Year, paid tribute to several people who played a key role in her education and inspired her as she took a leadership role in the classroom.

“My time as a dental hygiene student holds a special place in my heart, as it laid the foundation for the professional I am today,” she said. “Returning here today as a professor, I’m honored to pay forward the lessons and inspiration I received from my instructors.”

Alumni and faculty took part in the pinning ceremony for the DH2s, signifying the nearing end of their education and beginning of their careers.

The luncheon concluded with a pinning ceremony for the class of 2024, signifying the end of their clinical training and entrance into clinical practice.

Leigh Ann Nurick, class of ’96 and executive director of the hygiene program, congratulated the graduating class and touted the program’s longevity and impact on oral health care.

“I can very confidently say with everyone’s continued support and investment in this [dental hygiene] program, we will continue to press on to mold, mentor and graduate dental hygienists just like the class of 1974 and the class of 2024, who will be equipped to meet the oral health needs anytime, anywhere of anyone they serve.”

— Caleb Vierkant

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