Former Tennessee Gov. Winfield C. Dunn has been “one of the key movers in the bricks and mortar, and truly, the transformation of this college from a good dental college to one of the best dental colleges in the United States,” Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD, said during a ceremony honoring the former governor today at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry.
Gov. Dunn was on campus for the unveiling of a bronze bust in his honor that will stand prominently in the lobby of the Dunn Dental Building at 875 Union Avenue. The former governor was accompanied by his son, Chuck Dunn, and applauded by faculty, staff, students, colleagues and longtime friends for his outstanding support of the College of Dentistry through the years.
“Gov. Dunn has not only been a champion of the College of Dentistry, but he’s really been a champion of the Health Science Center for his entire career as governor and afterward,” Chancellor Schwab said. A 1955 graduate of the College of Dentistry, Gov. Dunn helmed the state from 1971 to 1975.
Chancellor Schwab saluted Gov. Dunn for his vision and support that has helped the College of Dentistry expand across the state, with clinics as far away as Bristol.
Timothy J. Hottel, DDS, MS, MBA, dean of the College of Dentistry, noted that Gov. Dunn’s support was pivotal in securing money for renovations of the dental building several years ago. “He got us the first donation from the state of Tennessee in the history of the college, “ Dr. Hottel said. The state legislature dedicated $1 million directly to support the renovations to the Dunn Building, thanks to their respect and admiration for Gov. Dunn. “He’s always available when I need him.”
Gov. Dunn commented on the outstanding growth of the college and his pride in what it has and will become.
The bust was created by Maddie Singer, director of anaplastology and an instructor in the Department of Prosthodontics in the College of Dentistry. She created the sculpture from which the bronze was cast.
Gov. Dunn had not seen the work before the unveiling. “Maddie, I have to say, you took nothing and made something out of it,” he said.
“I will go back to Nashville very happy and very grateful to each and every one of you, not only for your friendship, but for what you mean to a great profession,” the former governor said.