As invited guests looked on, the foundation of The University of Texas School of Dentistry Alumni Association unveiled the "William R. Clitheroe, DDS Donor Wall" on the fourth floor of the school in a special ceremony on April 29.
The display recognizes donors past and present, with plenty of room for future donors and honorees. It was underwritten by B.J. Westbrook, DDS ’54; J.P. “Jay” Ferguson, DDS ’75; Leslie Fullerton, DDS; and the Clitheroe family (Lee Clitheroe, DDS ’85; Carie Clitheroe-King, DDS ’88; Scott Clitheroe, MD; and their mother, Sara Clitheroe).
The display recognizes the new Legacy Fund while paying homage to the School of Dentistry’s first endowment, The Founders Fund, and the alumni who organized it: Billy Ray Clitheroe, DDS ’57; Henry “Mit” Sorrels, DDS ’52; and Sam W. Rogers, DDS ’50.
In 1986, the three men convinced 100 donors to give $5,000 each to establish the fund with $500,000. Today, The Founder’s Fund stands at $1.2 million despite providing more than $1 million for student scholarships, faculty recruitment and development, and support of alumni activities along the way.
Dean John Valenza, DDS ’81, noted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of The Founders Fund. “Thinking of its success, and the potential of the new Legacy Fund, it’s amazing what we can accomplish when we work together for a common cause,” he said, thanking the foundation for its generosity.
Alumni Foundation President Jerry Katz, DDS '68, said the new donor wall “is really about remembering, honoring and celebrating all of those who understand how we feel about our profession.”
He introduced Russell “Rusty” Schlattman, DDS ’71, who was instrumental in moving the project forward over the past four years. “This hasn’t been one of those crowns you put in the mouth and everything’s perfect,” Schlattmann joked. “The main thing about this wall ... as the years go on, we want this to be a perpetual endeavor and continually add people to the Legacy Fund.”
For more information about the UTSD Alumni Association or its foundation, contact Executive Director Tricia Fullerton at 713-840-1328.