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Dental School Raises $10.1 Million, Passes Campaign Goal

Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Harvard School of Dental Medicine By Megan M. Ross
By Luke W. Vrotsos, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: February 22, 2018 at 7:46 p.m.

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine has surpassed its $8 million capital campaign goal, reaching $10.1 million in donations during the four-year campaign that ends this June.

The school launched its capital campaign, titled “It Begins with Me,” in April 2014. At the time, Dental School administrators said they aimed to devote $6 million toward financial aid for its students and $2 million toward public oral health programs.

Wanda Mock, associate dean for development and alumni affairs at the Dental School, said 1,300 donors have contributed to the current $10.1 million total. The school has about 2,500 living alumni, who together gave 26 percent of all donations collected during Fiscal Year 2016.

Foundations and companies also accounted for 10 percent of the donations to the school, but the largest source of donations comprised individuals unaffiliated with the school, who gave 64 percent of the 2016 funds.

The capital campaign also benefited from a $2 million gift from Gordon Macdonald, who spent a decade at the school, and his wife Ruth.

“The campaign has accelerated the School’s ability to educate value-based and service-oriented future leaders in the oral health profession,” Mock wrote in an emailed statement.

Mock also wrote the donations given to the campaign “will touch the lives of the School community and its students for generations to come.”

In 2014, the school didn’t have the funds to provide all of its students competitive financial aid packages, according to Mock. Annual tuition at the Dental School is currently $59,800, and the total cost of attendance can exceed $100,000 each year.

In 2013, the average student graduating with a D.M.D. from Harvard had $162,000 in debt. Students completing D.M.Sc. and M.M.Sc. degrees, which cover specialties like orthodontistry, averaged $243,000 in debt at graduation.

The campaign’s case statement, a document released at the start of the campaign, specifically mentioned three types of aid donations would support: D.M.D. scholarships, fellowships for postdoctoral students in specialty programs, and a fund for Dean’s Scholars, who often pursue careers as academic researchers.

Mock wrote the campaign has enabled $2.7 million in additional financial aid.

The University-wide capital campaign has raised over $8 billion in the last four years, exceeding its $6.5 billion goal. Administrators at other schools, like Harvard Medical School, have previously said financial aid fundraising has lagged behind other development goals.

The Dental School is among the smallest of Harvard’s twelve degree-granting schools, with 137 students in its D.M.D. program and 103 students in D.M.Sc. and M.M.Sc. programs.

—Staff writer Luke W. Vrotsos can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at luke_vrotsos.

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