Friends fund lecture to honor MCVAA president

Two Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry faculty members, Dr. Jim Burns (D.D.S. ’72; Ph.D., ’80) and Dr. John Svirsky (D.D.S. ’73; M.Ed. ’79), have established a new endowment in honor of their friend and colleague, Dr. James H. Revere (D.D.S. ’65). Revere is president of the MCV Alumni Association of VCU. The inaugural lecture took place in April.

“In fundraising, the pros talk about giving to bricks and mortar,” Burns said. “The bricks may be the building blocks, but the less noticeable mortar holds the building together. Jim Revere is the mortar of the School of Dentistry.” Svirsky calls Revere the “heart and soul” of the school.

Revere has been a presence on campus and in the school for more than 40 years. Burns and Svirsky first met him when they were students and he was their teacher. Revere accepted a temporary teaching job after graduation that has lasted for 35 years.

He taught countless students and served as an administrator in a variety of capacities, including admissions dean, clinic dean and interim dean. He currently is a member of the school’s advancement team and was the driving force behind the advocacy efforts that garnered state funding for the new W. Baxter Perkinson, Jr. Building.

“My greatest achievements are not the positions I have held at the school but the friendships I have made,” Revere said.

Burns and Svirsky hope other friends, former students and colleagues will add to their $100,000 gift so the lectureship can grow into an endowed chair.

The gift now provides funding for an annual faculty development day. The first one took place this year at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va. More than 100 faculty members attended presentations by Dr. Irwin Becker (D.D.S. ’69) and earned six hours of continuing education credits.

“We are especially grateful to Dr. Becker, chairman emeritus of The Pankey Institute, for sharing his time and his knowledge with our faculty at the Revere Faculty Appreciation Lecture,” Svirsky said.