Delta Dental of Tennessee Challenges UTHSC Dental Alumni with Pledge

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Delta Dental of Tennessee recently announced a challenge pledge of $1.25 million toward the renovation of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Dunn Dental Building.

Delta Dental of Tennessee recently announced a challenge pledge of $1.25 million toward the renovation of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Dunn Dental Building. For every dollar pledged by College of Dentistry alumni and friends toward the refurbishing of the Dunn Building, an additional dollar, up to $1.25 million, has been committed by Delta Dental of Tennessee.

“Our students are working with equipment that has been in the Dunn Building since it opened in the late 1970s. We are long overdue to refurbish in order to remain competitive in recruiting the brightest new students and faculty,” said Russell Gilpatrick, DDS, dean of the College of Dentistry. “If an alumnus is considering a donation to the college, there is no better time to make a gift or a more important project to support.”

With a total cost of $5 million dollars, plans for the Dunn Dental Building include updating and re-equipping the clinical service areas with new dental chairs and dental units, as well as providing new equipment for conference rooms and offices.

“At Delta Dental, we understand how important facilities are to the success of the College of Dentistry,” said Phil Wenk, DDS, Delta Dental of Tennessee president and CEO and a 1977 UTHSC College of Dentistry graduate. “In order for dental students to receive the best education, they need to train in a state-of-the-art clinic. It is our hope that this challenge gift will encourage dental school alumni, particularly those who practice in Tennessee, to make a personal gift, which would help Dean Gilpatrick and the College realize this very important goal.”

A longstanding supporter of the UTHSC College of Dentistry, Delta Dental of Tennessee established one of the college’s largest scholarship endowments in 1997. In 2004, the company committed $1 million for the Delta Dental of Tennessee Dental Simulation Center, the largest pre-clinical laboratory of its kind in the nation. With the current challenge gift, Delta Dental of Tennessee has donated nearly $2.5 million to the college.

Persons interested in making a gift or pledge to the Dunn Building Renovation Gift Fund can contact Tim Lanier, Director of Development, at 800-733-0482 or tlanier@uthsc.edu.

Delta Dental of Tennessee, with its affiliates in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, is a member of Renaissance Health Service Corporation, a family of companies that combined is one of the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. The enterprise in 2006 paid out more than $1.7 billion for dental care for more than 6.2 million enrollees. Offices are located in Okemos, Farmington Hills, and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis, Tenn.