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UTHealth School of Dentistry names first endowed chair

HOUSTON - (Jan. 17, 2012) - Jeryl D. English, DDS, MS, chair of the department of orthodontics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry, has been appointed as the first holder of the Fred A. and Dianne F. Garrett Endowed Chair in Orthodontics.  The appointment was announced by Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, MD, president ad interim of UTHealth.

The Garretts established the first endowed chair in the School of Dentistry’s 107-year history with their $500,000 gift in 2011. Fred Garrett, D.D.S., MS, is a board-certified orthodontist and clinical professor at UTSD who also maintains a private practice in Sugar Land. 

 “Appointment to an endowed position is one of the greatest honors UTHealth can bestow on a member of the faculty,” said Colasurdo, noting that School of Dentistry Dean John A. Valenza’s nomination of English received the enthusiastic endorsement of a committee of [English’s] peers. “The appointment attests to your dedication and outstanding service to UTHealth and the School of Dentistry.”

English said the endowment funds will be used to expand educational opportunities for residents and faculty in the department of orthodontics.  The funds also will be used to present departmental research at state and national meetings.

Just as the Garretts’ gift made UTHealth School of Dentistry history in creating the first endowed chair, so will the choice of English as the first to hold the appointment.

 “What an honor for me to have my name as the first to receive it,” said English. “The endowment personifies the goal of dedication to excellence in orthodontic education.

“Just as Dr. Garrett has been a role model for our residents by distinguishing himself professionally throughout his career,” English added, “the recipient of this endowment should personify these same attributes and serve as a role model as well.”

Valenza said the endowment is especially meaningful as the School of Dentistry is poised to move to a new, $155 million building later this year.

“The Garretts’ gift will enhance the department of orthodontics in ways large and small, but even more valuable is the precedent they’ve set for others who might want to make a difference far beyond our lifetimes,” Valenza said. 

English said the Garretts have made notable contributions to their community and to orthodontics for many years.  “Their loyalty to our department and tireless work have created an atmosphere of excellence for our residents,” he said. “This endowment will bring their legacy for years to come.”

English earned his dental degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 1971 and received his orthodontic specialty certificate and a Master of Science degree in oral biology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 1976. He was board certified in orthodontics in 1984 and re-certified in 2003. He served in the United States Army Dental Corps from 1971 until his retirement in 1995. 

- Written by Rhonda Whitmeyer, Communications Manager at UTHealth School of Dentistry

Jade Waddy
Media Contact: 713-500-3030