Alumnus gift is largest in VCU School of Dentistry history

Giving $2.5 million to VCU’s School of Dentistry earned Dr. W. Baxter Perkinson, who received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the school in 1970 and owns the largest dental practice in Virginia, another distinction. He made the biggest gift in the school’s 113-year history.

“Dr. Perkinson’s support of VCU continues to be extraordinary,” Dr. Eugene P. Trani, president of Virginia Commonwealth University, said. “His generous contributions of time, energy and financial gifts have made a significant impact on this university becoming a world-class research institution.”

The gift will be used to advance the School of Dentistry’s clinics, labs and technology as well as to recruit top faculty and students. In honor of the gift and his many years of service to the school and the university, the Board of Visitors voted in November to name a new dental school building, slated to begin construction in summer 2007, in Perkinson’s honor.

The new, 55,000 square-foot, four-story building on Leigh Street will connect the existing Lyons and Wood dental school buildings. It will include clinics, classrooms, a conference center and research space. 

Perkinson serves as vice president of the VCU Health System Authority and has been rector of the Board of Visitors. Three of his four children and a son-in-law earned dental degrees from VCU.

“For much of my life, my involvement with VCU and the School of Dentistry has been a big part of who I am and what I do,” he said. “I am thrilled to be able to make this gift and give back to a place that has given so much to my family and me.”
Previously, Perkinson and his wife, Elaine, have given generously in support of the dental school, including the Clinical Simulation Laboratory, as well as student-athlete scholarships and the VCU Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences.

To make a gift to the School of Dentistry, contact Ed Kardos, director of development, at (804) 828-0324.