A Dentistry bash to remember
A look back at Dentistry's centennial celebration
Rebecca Schneidereit - June 13, 2012
The first thing you associate with your family dentist may not be wild parties, but Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry challenged such assumptions with its centennial celebrations.
Well, perhaps “wild” is a bit strong, but certainly the late-May “CentDent” bash, as it was dubbed by attendees, proved that dentists throw a mean party.
The festivities kicked off on Wednesday, May 23 with a meet and greet at Pier 21, attended by about 400 people and enlivened by a flash mob (choreographed by a graduating student to the tune of “We Are Family”). Thursday consisted of a full day of courses taught by alumni and former faculty members and finished with a dinner at the Cunard Centre.
Friday started bright and early with a fun run in Point Pleasant Park. The dentistry graduation ceremony was held Friday afternoon, and Friday evening was pub night. Saturday concluded the festivities with a celebratory dinner and precision drumming by local performers Squid – 750 students, faculty, staff, friends and alumni watching on.
Dozens of reunions
The entire week of activities attracted over 1,100 guests.
“Things just don’t stop here at the Faculty of Dentistry,” says Jon Bruhm, who is the faculty’s alumni officer. Mr. Bruhm helped to coordinate large portions of CentDent, although he is careful to note that “it was a really huge team effort.”
He says that the faculty has been plotting its extravaganza for four years: they first had the idea for a Centennial celebration in 2008 (the Maritime Dental College, which eventually became a part of Dalhousie, opened in 1908) but scheduled the party for 2012, the 100th anniversary of the first graduating class. Preparations for the event took, “Hundreds of hours," says Mr. Bruhm, "and we had more than 100 volunteers helping us out.”
Representatives of graduating classes as far back as 1950 organized unofficial reunions for their classmates – 56 in all, Mr. Bruhm estimates, although since “we didn’t really police when class reunions were happening,” a few might have slipped under the radar.
The 10-year anniversary was co-coordinated by Sherrie Wills, who says “Our class is very good. We’re very strongly connected. We always come together for weddings.”
Ian Mullett, a practicing dentist from Saint John who returned to Dalhousie for the 10-year-reunion, echoed her sentiments. “I don’t know,” he muses when asked what made him pick a career in dentistry. “Seemed like a good career at the time.” He’s definite, however, about the lasting impact his classmates have made on his life: he “met a lot of people who I’m still friends with 10 years later.”
And when asked if their classmates are still just as they remember them, Laura Bagley (now practicing in Boston), Christa Hynes (practicing in New Glasgow) and Michelle Nagle (practicing at the Halifax Stadacona military base) chime in unison: “Yes!”
Such class solidarity isn’t a surprise in the faculty.
“They connect, they stay connected…. This was their family for four years,” Mr. Bruhm explains. As for how attendees found the once-in-a-lifetime anniversary celebration, he sums it up: “Across the board, smiles all around.”
For more on the centennial, including several videos, visit the Faculty of Dentistry's website.
Convocation for the 100th graduating class of the Faculty of Dentistry. (Nick Pearce photo)
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