As it does late on the Friday afternoon of each year’s Alumni Student Convention, the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry held a dedication service for its Doctor of Dentistry, International Dentist Program, and Dental Hygiene students on February 11, 2011, in the Loma Linda University Church sanctuary.
The prayers of dedication, the very best in gospel music, the heartfelt homily—all characterized a ritual that makes obvious the unabashedly faith-based and service oriented nature of oral health care education at LLUSD.
Dignifying the event were academically robed leaders of the University and the School. In welcoming all present, LLU Provost Ronald L. Carter, PhD, expressed the University’s pride in the School of Dentistry and his appreciation for the dedication of its students and the families and friends who encourage and support them.
The nationally celebrated Mt. Rubidoux SDA Church Choir performed “Your Love Divine” in musical praise, and in response to the opening prayer by School of Dentistry Charles Goodacre, SD’71, MSD, Dean, School of Dentistry, sang “Total Praise.”
Alan Woodson, SD’87, director of the Mt. Rubidoux Choir, then moved to the podium to deliver the dedication address. Entitled “Extreme Makover,” Dr. Woodson’s homily focused on how the effort by his Upland, California, private practice to help a local homeless man not only restore his oral health but restore his life, had proved such a blessing to the dentist and his staff.
Following Dr. Woodson’s address, the School of Dentistry and its Alumni Association presented the first year Dentistry, International Dentist Program, and Dental Hygiene students with leather Bibles embossed with the School of Dentistry insignia and their names; while the members of each senior (2011) class were assisted in donning white coats embroidered with the School of Dentistry insignia and their names.
A prayer of dedication by Gregory Mitchell, SD’84, director, International Dentist Program, was followed by “Dies Irie,” performed by a trio of LLU student siblings: David Roquiz, School of Dentistry third year (cello); Deborah Roquiz, School of Medicine first year (piano); and Andrew Roquiz, School of Medicine senior (violin).
Fred Kasischke, DMin, associate dean, Admissions and Service Learning, offered the benediction.