For the nearly 1,400 alumni of the UConn School of Dental
Medicine, keeping in touch with each other and their alma mater
now easier, thanks to the creation of a new alumni association.
The alumni association, coordinated by the Office of Development and
Alumni Relations, held its second board meeting on June 16, and the
group's officers see tremendous potential ahead for both the
University and association members.
"There is a definitely a need for a group like this, and I think the
school deserves it," says association board president Bill Gagnon, D.M.D., '84. "It's a unique place, with smaller classes than many
other schools and a different approach to educating and training
dentists. UConn gave me the opportunity to do what I've done for 24
years, and I want to give back. Helping to establish the association
offered the chance to do just that."
A key component of attracting and involving alumni will be through
the new online community
established by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The
site, which also will integrate with Facebook, allows alumni to
share and post news and updates, register for events, see available
professional opportunities, volunteer to be a mentor and much more.
It provides a lifetime e-mail address for alumni.
Michael D'Occhio, D.M.D. '04, serves as vice president of the
association. He says the online community, and his desire to
actively seek input from alumni, will help attract a younger
generation of members than in-person meetings might.
"I think it's important for the school to hear the perspective of
our younger alumni," he says. "Dentists often end up working in a
small setting, without a lot of chances to interact with others in
the field, much less those they may have gone to school with.
Through the online community, everyone has easy access. We don't
have to wait for an annual reunion or event. It's real time, and you
have all of the information at your fingertips."
There are no dues to join the association. Alumni will
soon receive their login information for the online community in the
Dean Monty MacNeil, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc., says that the group
will fill a vital link in not only allowing alumni to communicate
with each other, but also serve as ambassadors of the school in the
state and across the region.
"Committed alumni are, ultimately, the legacy of any school," he
says. "The School of Dental Medicine is very fortunate to have an
alumni base that is accomplished professionally, dedicated to
advancement of the field and a wonderful showcase of the strength
of the Health Center and the entire University. I expect big things
For more information about the online community or the School of
Dental Medicine Alumni Association, please visit alumni.uchc.edu or
contact Susan Andersen, program director of alumni relations, at