VCU School of Dentistry's Deans Society

Starting on July 1, 2013, the leading alumni and friends who support our Annual Fund (at levels of $1,000 or greater) will become members of the Deans Society. The Deans Society has three different levels, each named for a visionary leader from our school's history. All donors who are inducted into the Deans Society will be applauded for their support of the school's current needs with a special salute in the 2014 Honor Roll of Investors. Members also will receive special lapel pins, which will allow you to visibly show your pride on your suit jacket or your white coat.

The Cowardin Level: Annual gifts from $1,000 to $4,999
Lewis M. Cowardin, M.D., D.D.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry, University College of Medicine, 1893–1910

Dr. Lewis M. Cowardin was the founding chair of the University College of Medicine’s dentistry department. Despite receiving no pay while serving in this position, he made large contributions to the school to keep it in operation when there were no endowments or funding from the commonwealth. He was one of the founders of the Richmond Dental Society in 1894 and practiced dentistry for more than 56 years.

The Bear Level: Annual gifts from $5,000 to $9,999
Harry Bear, D.D.S., D.Sc., FACD
Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Virginia, 1929–1950

Dr. Harry Bear was the school’s first alumnus to serve as dean. He graduated in 1919, earned a national reputation in dental education and was president of the American Association of Dental Schools and the American Society of Oral Surgery. He also was a Fellow of the American College of Dentists.

The Lyons Level: Annual gifts of $10,000 or more
Harry Lyons, D.D.S., D.Sc., LL.D.
Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Virginia and later Virginia Commonwealth University, 1951–1970

Dr. Harry Lyons graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1923 and joined its faculty shortly afterward. He rose through the ranks from instructor to professor and went on to chair the Department of Oral Pathology, Diagnosis and Therapeutics. He was named dean in 1951 and served in that role for 19 years. Lyons oversaw the move of the school from McGuire Hall to the Wood Memorial Building and helped break ground for what is now known as the Lyons Dental Building.

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