Dental Hygiene program promotes oral health as a part of total health during Legacy Weekend

The Legacy Committee hosted the annual Legacy Weekend Nov. 9-10.
Dental Hygiene program promotes oral health as a part of total health during Legacy Weekend

Dental Hygiene Legacy

As part of an effort to promote good oral hygiene and raise funds for the Dental Hygiene program, the Legacy Committee hosted the annual Legacy Weekend Nov. 9-10.

The weekend kicked off with 40 alumni in attendance for the Legacy Alumni Council reception honoring the classes of 1958 and 1968. Each member was given a gold medallion from the university. The program, entitled "What Has Changed in the Past Fifty Years in Dental Hygiene" gave a unique retrospective look at advancements within the profession.

On Saturday, more than 90 dental hygienists and students attended continuing education courses with guest speaker Trisha O'Hehir. The weekend concluded with the 15th Annual Woodard-Burch 1 Mile Floss Walk/ 5K Run. Participants walked or ran throughout the Belknap campus in an effort to bring attention to the importance of oral health as a part of total health.

Funds raised will support dental hygiene classroom equipment, student scholarships, along with student, faculty and program development.

UofL’s Dental Hygiene program, which began in 1952, provides graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. It is the only such program in Kentucky housed within a dental school. Each year, approximately 30 new students are admitted.

In 2003, just a year short of its 50th Anniversary, the program faced possible closure. As a result, the Legacy Committee was formed and began meeting in an effort to rejuvenate the program and avoid its termination. Made up alumni, staff, students and faculty, the committee worked to develop a plan of action to save the Dental Hygiene program.

Results of the plan:

-Support for the Dental Hygiene Program to become a four-year baccalaureate degree program

-Gave a $50,000 gift, established the Endowment Fund for Dental Hygiene, School of Dentistry's room 119 named "Legacy Room"

-Established the Legacy Lecture series

-Established the Legacy Reunion Weekend in 2007

-Established the Woodward/Burch 1 Mile Floss Walk/5K Run now in its 15th year

-Raised over $150,000 through the Legacy Fund

-Established the Legacy Scholarship - first two scholarships were awarded in 2009

-Established the Legacy Alumni Award to be given to an outstanding alumnus each year

Virginia Woodward, RDH, and Mary Ann Burch, RDH, serve as the Dental Hygiene Legacy Committee co-chairs. Jackie Singleton, RDH, MS, PhD, is the dental hygiene program director. Other committee members include: Theresa Butler, RDH, MEd (emeritus), Sharon Cooper Carpenter, RDH, MS PhD, Julie Drury, RDH, MS, Dianne Foster, RDH, MS, Linda Lewis, RDH, MEd, Jennifer Hasch, RDH, BS, Nakia Strickland, BA, MEd, and Tana Rae Didelot, MS.

For more information on supporting the Dental Hygiene program, contact:

Nakia Strickland,