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Historical Chronology of
The University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics

Dr. Tom Schulein narrates a rich presentation on the history of our College.

Iowa becomes a state. The University is organized in 1847.
University of Iowa classes begin in Iowa City.
The Iowa State Dental Society is founded in Muscatine.
The Iowa legislature passes laws regulating dentists and the UI Department of Dentistry is founded, with fourteen enrolled students. Classes are held in two rooms of South Hall. Luman C. Ingersoll is dean. (Calvin Collection of Photographs, University of Iowa Archives)
south hall 1882
The first graduating dental class at Iowa includes eight students.
1883 class panel
Dean Ingersoll is dismissed after an investigation. A.O. Hunt becomes dean.
The dental department moves into its first new building, which later becomes known as Old Dental. (Calvin Collection of Photographs, University of Iowa Archives)
first dentistry building 1895
After another investigation, Dean Hunt is dismissed and University president Charles Schaeffer becomes interim dean.
William Hosford becomes dean.
The Dentistry Department becomes the College of Dentistry.
Thomas J. McLernon is named dean but resigns after three months (Sept.-Dec.). Des Moines’ Drake University dental school merges with The University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry.
Frank T. Breene is named dean. World War I begins in Europe.
The College of Dentistry moves into new building (Trowbridge Hall).
second dentistry building 1917
The College of Dentistry’s academic year begins during the summer session, to speed students’ progress toward graduation. World War I begins and the College offers free dental services to Iowans who have been rejected by the Armed Services because of tooth defects. The influenza epidemic reaches its peak in Iowa. At least two dental students die.
Enrollment overload begins at the College of Dentistry.
The Gies committee, which is evaluating dental education in the United States, visits the College of Dentistry.
The College celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. A.W. Bryan becomes dean. The Great Depression results in a drop in enrollment and five percent salary cuts.
The United States enters World War II after Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.
An accelerated schedule begins at the College of Dentistry; with a new class enrolling every nine months.
World War II ends.
W.O. Simon becomes dean.
The Dental Hygiene Department is founded.
George Easton becomes dean.
Donald J. Galagan becomes dean.
Orthodontics professor George Andreasen patents orthodontic appliances using nitinol wire, which can move and straighten teeth using a patient’s body heat.
The College moves into the new Dental Science Building.
Dental Science Building 1973
James H. McLeran becomes dean.
The Dows Institute for Dental Research is established.
The College of Dentistry’s centennial is observed.
The College of Dentistry is one of the first U.S. institutions to use dental implants.
Four College of Dentistry alumni volunteer their forensic skills to identify crash victims of United Airlines flight 232 in Sioux City.
David C. Johnsen becomes dean.
The College of Dentistry’s student research program receives national attention, winning the prestigious American Association of Dental Schools/William J. Gies Research Scholarship Award.
The new Simulation Clinic is completed, a facility with 80 modules for predoctoral training and continuing education, a technique laboratory and a 40-seat electronic teaching classroom.
The College of Dentistry is the recipient of a $2 million estate gift from Dr. B.F. Dewel, a 1925 graduate and former clinical instructor. Dr. John Casko, professor and head of the Department of Orthodontics, receives the first endowed faculty chair, the B.F. and Helen E. Dewel Chair.
Dean David C. Johnsen serves as president of the American Dental Education Association.
The College of Dentistry’s Advanced Education in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Program (OMR) becomes the first accredited program in the U.S. following the American Dental Association’s recognition of OMR as a new dental specialty in 1999.
The College of Dentistry receives a $2.5 million bequest from Dr. Bob Williams, a 1973 graduate, and his wife, Jeri. The gift will be used for an endowed fund and will be earmarked for professorships or chairs. The Williamses also make a five-year commmitment to create the Dr. Bob H. and Jerilee H. Williams Professorship in Restorative Dentistry. Dr. Gerald Denehy, professor and head of operative dentistry, is named to the professorship.
The Muscatine Pediatric Dentistry Clinic opens with a grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. Staffed by faculty and senior dental students, the clinic treats children up to age 12 from Muscatine and Louisa Counties.
Dean David C. Johnsen is selected to head the Presidential Search Panel for The University of Iowa’s 20th president.
During The University of Iowa’s Good. Better. Best. Iowa campaign, the College raises $22 million for projects that will “enhance education, strengthen research, and ultimately advance the dental profession.” During this campaign, 12 professorships are created.
The College of Dentistry celebrates its 125th anniversary.
The Iowa Board of Regents recommends $25 million for support of the UI College of Dentistry's building transformation (renovation and addition). The Board also approved schematics and a budget for the building addition.
The College of Dentistry begins a $61 million building transformation. The five-year project will include a 35,000-square-foot addition; renovation/transformation of all of the clinics; renovation of the research areas; and upgrades of infrastructure (e.g., heating and cooling).
The Dows laboratory space is renovated with $1 million from the Roy C. Carver Charitable Trust and $1 million from the College of Dentistry to provide 25% more research lab space.
Dentistry Addition 2011
The new addition to the College of Dentistry clinic space officially opens.