College of Dentistry celebrates new endowed faculty fellowships

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From left: Barry Dixon (son of the late Dr. F. Gene Dixon and Rosemary Dixon), Sally Dixon White (daughter of the late Dr. F. Gene Dixon and Rosemary Dixon), Dr. Nagamani Narayana (COD faculty member and first recipient of the Dr. F. Gene & Rosemary Dixon Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching) and Mrs. Rosemary Dixon (widow of Dr. F. Gene Dixon).
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Pictured are Maude family members, including fellowship honorees, Dr. Ted Maude and Marilyn Pedersen Maude, and their children who established the Maude Faculty Fellowship; Drs. Sue and Mike Christensen; Pete and Cathy Maude; and Matt Maude, along with other family members and friends, and the first recipient of the Maude Faculty Fellowship, Dr. Ernest Sigler and his wife, Nancy.
Demand for quality dental faculty remains high across the United States, and John Reinhardt, D.D.S., dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry, estimates there are 400 full-time faculty positions currently available.

Reinhardt told a group of college supporters earlier this month that recruiting and retaining top dental faculty at UNMC's College of Dentistry continues to be a high priority for him, and that he's especially grateful for the backing of two new endowed faculty fellowships.

On Oct. 2, Dr. Reinhardt announced the Dr. F. Gene and Rosemary Dixon Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching and the Dr. Harold "Ted" Maude and Marilyn Pedersen Maude Faculty Fellowship in Dentistry. Both are permanent endowments established with gifts and commitments to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

"These endowments are a significant benefit to the college, because these new fellowships will help us reward outstanding faculty," Dr. Reinhardt said. "Retaining strong faculty members at the UNMC College of Dentistry is critical to the current and future excellence of its programs and its students. We are extremely thankful for the generosity of the families who made these new faculty fellowships possible."

The Dixon Faculty Fellowship is the second faculty support fund provided by Rosemary Dixon of San Mateo, Calif., and her late husband, F. Gene Dixon, D.D.S., who was a 1947 alumnus and strong supporter of the college. The couple earlier established an endowed chair for the college, as well as endowments in support of research, academic programs and students. They also generously supported ongoing clinic renovations and facility improvements at the dental college, and the school's auditorium is named in their honor.

Dental alumna Susan Maude Christensen, D.D.S, of Waterloo, Neb., and her husband Michael Christensen, D.V.M., together with Susan's two brothers, Harold Edward "Pete" Maude and his wife, Cathy Maude, and Matthew Maude, established the Maude Faculty Fellowship in honor of their parents, Marilyn and Ted Maude, D.D.S., of Lincoln. Longtime supporters of the dental college, the Maude family earlier established an endowed professorship in memory of Marilyn Maude's father, alumnus Merritt C. Pedersen, D.D.S.

The college announced the first recipients of the new faculty awards, who will receive annual stipends in recognition of their teaching abilities. Nagamani Narayana, D.M.D., assistant professor in the department of oral biology, was awarded the Dixon Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. The Maude Faculty Fellowship in Dentistry was awarded to Ernest W. Sigler, D.D.S., assistant professor in the department of adult restorative dentistry.

Although funded at different levels, endowed faculty fellowships, professorships and chairs enable the university to award annual stipends in recognition of outstanding teaching or research activity. These are often important in recruiting or retaining quality faculty at the university.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that has raised private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for 72 years. Last year, almost $90 million was provided for students, faculty, academic programs, research, and for campus and building improvements on all four campuses. More information is available at www.nufoundation.org.