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Class of 1974 reunion
May 1st, 2024

Texas A&M School of Dentistry class of 1974

Texas A&M School of Dentistry hosted the class of 1974 for their 50th reunion April 19.

The alumni toured campus, met current students and were treated to lunch on the sixth floor of the Administration and Education Building. They also took the opportunity to catch up with old friends and share memories from when they were students at what was then Baylor College of Dentistry.

Members of the class of 1974 were given a tour of the school, taking the opportunity to speak with current students.

Dr. Robert Hanson said it was his first time visiting the school since graduating in 1974. When he thought back to his time as a student, he said what he enjoyed the most was the sense of camaraderie among the student body. It was a tight-knit community in which everyone looked out for one another, he said.

“It’s been phenomenal [being back],” Hanson said. “You come together as students, and you don’t know anybody, and then you meld together and become a family.”

After graduating, Dr. Stephen T. Morris returned to Fort Worth to practice with his father, retiring in 2010. He said it was amazing to see how technology at the school has changed.

“It’s been wild to come back here and see all the innovations,” he said. “This is terrific. It feels like we were dinosaurs compared to what we have now. We certainly appreciate the school and how they’ve treated us this weekend, it’s been wonderful.”

Dr. Samuel Strong met his wife Stephanie, dental hygiene class of 1972, in school when friends set them up on a blind date. They shared lots of memories from their time on campus and stories they still laugh about.

Alumni of the class of 1974 speaking with current student Jorge Morillo.

“There was the time a patient fell out of their chair,” Stephanie said. “We didn’t have the modern fancy chairs like today. What happened was we had a release brake on the chair to lean the patient back, and then the brake failed and the patient did a somersault out of the chair and into the instructor’s office!”

“It’s great to see the new facilities and all the technology,” Samuel added. “It’s hard to wrap your head around all of it.”

Along with stories of camaraderie and fond memories, there were also stories of perseverance among the alumni. Dr. Charles Ku retired two years ago, after practicing in Lewisville, Texas, for many years. He was the only Chinese student in his class in the early ’70s, and he noted it was nice to see the diversity of classes today.

“People just looked at me different,” he said of his experience. “In our first year, we had a dental anatomy class. We did carvings where you’d show your work to the professor, and they’d grade it. Every time when I finished, I always got a B.”

During their reunion, alumni got a chance to see some of the ways the school has changed over the last 50 years.

Ku recalled a classmate who had received an A on his carving left the carving on the counter when he went to the restroom. Ku took the carving and presented it to the professor as if it was his own work. “And I still got a B!” he said.

“I can laugh about it now, though. I loved Baylor; it made us what we are today,” he said.  “We appreciate the education, and I’m always grateful.”

— Caleb Vierkant

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