By Douglas Hackleman - March 22, 2017

At the calling of the names, first- and final-year dental hygiene, doctor of dentistry, and International Dentist Program students took the LLU Church stage individually to receive embossed Bibles (first year) and monogrammed white coats (graduating classes) at the School of Dentistry’s annual Student Dedication service.

Division of General Dentistry assistant professor and director, Spiritual Life and Diversity, Scott Smith, DDS’09, welcomed students, faculty, relatives, friends and well-wishers to the School of Dentistry’s 2017 Student Dedication Service, Friday evening, February 24, at the LLU Church sanctuary.

Dr. Scott Smith

Following the Loma Linda University administration welcome by Provost Ronald Carter, PhD, and the opening prayer by School of Dentistry Dean Ronald Dailey, PhD, an instrumental ensemble, comprised of senior dental students Rosy Kim (violin), Christina Dahee Jeong (piano), and Tanner Song (cello), rendered On Jesus’ Hand, by Young Gwang Ju.

Rosy Kim and Tanner Song

Former Adventist Review editor William Johnsson, PhD, adjunct professor, School of Religion, presented a homily entitled “Your White Coat.”

William Johnsson declaims.

 Dr. Johnsson recalled his very painful life experience with dentistry that began when he was a small boy in southern Australia and lost his front teeth to a playground swing—an oral health care saga that extended into his sixties, eventuating in bone tissue being grafted from his hip to his mandible by an oral surgeon.

The monogrammed white coats, Dr. Johnsson suggested, represent the continued teaching ministry of Jesus Christ and Loma Linda University’s motto, “to make man whole.” There are three ways, he suggested, that Loma Linda trained dentists follow in the footsteps of Jesus:

“You relieve people’s pain; you restore the ability to eat; and you put a smile on people’s faces by removing the sadness and the self-consciousness.”

“Wear it proudly—your Loma Linda white coat,” he concluded.

Three hundred and four LLUSD students from the School’s Dental Hygiene, pre-doctoral Dentistry, and International Dentist programs then filed across the platform to receive166 bibles and 138 white coats.

Left to right, top to bottom: Amenda St. Hilaire D1 (Spiritual VP), Michael Gardner D1; Greer Thompson D1 (with Jerdie Ale D1, Class president, in the background); Hussam Aloka IDP4 (class representative, with Priscilla Taylor IDP4, spiritual representative in the back ground); Jessica Daniel DHJr (AS); Brian Nguyen DHJr (BS) (Alexis Lemmon BS DHJr, class president in the background); Victoria Kha DHSr (BS); Christopher Chan D4; Susan Choi D4; Sam Jamel IDP3 (IDP representative, with Oday Zuma IDP3 in background); Stephan Barrington D4; Yulia Chigir IDP4

 With all students reseated, John Won, DDS’05, head, Division of General Dentistry, offered a prayer of dedication.

Dr.John Won

Mark Estey, DDS’98, director, International Dentist Program, led students and faculty in a recital of The Dental Pledge.

Dr. Mark Estey

Students recite the dental pledge.

An ensemble of 12 senior dental students, two first-year dental hygiene students, and a physical therapy student performed a closing musical praise—Whitney Houston’s I Look to You, arranged by D4 classmates Kyim Mung and Cheiryl Pactanac.

Robert Handysides, DDS’93, associate dean, Office of Academic Affairs, offered the benediction.

Dr. Robert Handysides

Organist Donna Samson played the recessional: Final, by Alexander Guilmant.

Donna Samson