The University of Michigan School of Dentistry was established in 1875. Its first 100 years were years of evolution in dental education. The decades that followed have been nothing short of transformational. The U-M School of Dentistry has always set a high bar, not afraid to challenge the status quo and not content with the way things have always been done. Always asking, “how can we do this better.” The narrative starts in 1962 with a proposal for a new dental building and concludes, more than 55 years later, with a proposal for a major building renovation. What lies between is a story of vision and possibility for dental education that is unparalleled anywhere.
This book celebrates all that the professional community known as the U-M School of Dentistry has accomplished. Through good times and times of change, it has always been about the people—the drivers, the visionaries, and the innovators—who persisted regardless of the usual obstacles and inertia that often stand in the path of progress in higher education. They elevated the school to a world-class prominence that most definitely exemplifies the university’s history as home to the “leaders and best.”
Sharon Grayden’s career in dentistry has spanned four decades. She has been involved in the dental profession as an educator, researcher and administrator; affiliated with three of the best dental schools in the country—the University of Minnesota, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan.
While at the University of Minnesota her career focus began to shift from teaching and research into the communications and public relations arenas. When she joined UNC-Chapel Hill she directed the public relations activities for the dental school that included managing and marketing the continuing education programs and writing and editing the North Carolina Dental Review. She joined the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2006 and was named director of communications in 2008. In this role she served as the public relations liaison for the school, wrote and edited speeches, press releases and public relations pieces, correspondence and articles for publication as well as edited the school’s premiere publication, the DentalUM. She retired from dentistry in 2016 but is still very much involve in writing, editing and graphic design.