When I make presentations to our dental societies and alumni, I always let people know just how big our education programs are. I tell them we have about 105 in each dental class for a total of 420. For our dental hygiene program, I let them know that because of restructuring last year, we now have just two classes with about 30 in each. And I end by counting the number of residents and students in our advanced education and graduate programs -- nearly 95 in all.
Because I've been with our dental and dental hygiene classes at a number of all-school functions over the past several months, I have a visual image of how big these classes really are. But it wasn't until a week ago that I saw our advanced education and graduate students en masse at their welcome reception. The event included those who were just starting their training, as well as those in their second, third, and even fourth years in our college. With their program directors, these graduate students filled the Grande Lounge at the Faculty Club.
As part of this impressive event, graduate program directors introduced their new trainees, giving the names and educational backgrounds of each. Although I was initially impressed by the sheer number of people being introduced, my feelings quickly shifted when I heard what our program directors were saying.
What I heard were stories about graduates from dental schools all over the country, and even a few from outside the U.S., who believe the best place to get their advanced education is The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Some come to us right out of dental school. Others have practiced a few years and now want to get their specialty certificate. In either case, these students are here to learn more and to get better at what they always dreamed they could be.
At this event that so impressed me, I had a chance to welcome these newcomers and to let them know how much we value our advanced education and graduate programs. I thanked them for choosing our college for this phase of their dental education, and I welcomed them to what I know will be a great educational experience.
I have a lasting visual image now of the size of all our student groups, and I can't wait for the next opportunity to describe them and their talents, their dedication, and their excellence to our alumni, colleagues, and friends.