1970s Dentistry Recruitment Posters

For our final installment of stories from the School of Dentistry records, AR 2015-4, we bring you recruitment posters from the 1970s. These posters promoted professional careers in dentistry and dental hygiene. They were created using photographs by Bob Vogel.

School of  Dentistry recruitment poster, 1971. AR 2015-4, OS 1

School of Dentistry recruitment poster, 1971. AR 2015-4, OS 2

Note that the posters encourage interested students to contact Minority Admissions at the School of Dentistry. In the 1970s, this office provided support to underrepresented minority students and helped build diversity at the school. Various dental faculty members, alumni, and students worked to shape the direction of the admissions program.

ar20154_os2_recruitmentposter1

School of Dentistry recruitment poster, 1971. AR 2015-4, OS 2

Activists in the 1960s and 1970s viewed minority admissions as a key issue in the larger struggle for professional and academic equal opportunity. To learn more about the period’s activism regarding admissions at UCSF, check out this June 1975 special issue of Synapse, the UCSF student newspaper. It focuses on minority admissions and includes quotes and letters from students and staff.

Editorial by Khati Hendry in Synapse, Vol. 19, No. 33, June 12, 1975

Editorial by Khati Hendry in a special issue of Synapse, Vol. 19, No. 33, June 12, 1975

UCSF continues to promote diversity and inclusion across the university. To learn more about work being done today, visit the Office of Diversity and Outreach and check out this article about the UCSF School of Dentistry Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion.

Please contact us if you would like to view material from AR 2015-4. You can read our previous posts about this collection here and here.

Dental Department Buried Treasure

Last week we looked at the Dental Department “Earthquake Class” of 1906. This week we have another unique dentistry story. It involves feuding faculty, buried treasure, and a surprise discovery!

The Dental Department / College of Dentistry of the University of California was established in 1881. San Francisco practitioner Samuel W. Dennis, MD, DDS, was instrumental in its founding; he gathered support from Medical Department faculty, corresponded with other dental programs in the country to create a curriculum, and recruited dental instructors. He served as the first dean of the school from 1881-1882 and was later reappointed, serving from 1883-1885.

Samuel W. Dennis

Samuel W. Dennis

Disagreements concerning curriculum and the school’s administration quickly developed between Dennis and his fellow dental faculty members. Tensions continued to mount for the next fifteen years until a disgruntled Dennis left the college in 1896.

First faculty of the Dental Department, 1882. AR 2015-4 SOD records

First faculty of the Dental Department, 1882. AR 2015-4 SOD records, box 1

When Dennis left, he took with him a number of the school’s early records, including receipts, announcements, lecture notes, and examples of course requirements and examinations. Apparently, he then buried the material in a lead box under a grove of eucalyptus trees in South San Francisco. When Dennis died in 1906 (some accounts say 1907) he had never revealed the exact location of the records.

From the "Treasure Chest" contents: Anatomy test, 1891. AR 2015-4 SOD records, box 1

From the “Treasure Chest” contents: Anatomy test, 1891. AR 2015-4 SOD records, box 1

In 1929, as workers were excavating an area on which the Bayshore Highway was to be constructed, they uncovered a heavy box. Inside they found old documents labeled “Dental Department of the University of California.” Luckily, one of the workers recognized the potential value of the discovery and returned the material to the university. Dean Guy S. Millberry began investigating the papers and came to the conclusion that they had to be the missing Dennis material.

From the "Treasure Chest" contents: Freshman student course requirements, undated

From the “Treasure Chest” contents: Freshman student course requirements, undated. AR 2015-4 SOD records, box 1

The box came to be known as the “Treasure Chest.” Today, the box and its surviving contents are housed in the UCSF Archives and Special Collections as part of the School of Dentistry records, AR 2015-4.

– Sources for this post include a 1997 School of Dentistry history booklet titled “The Early Days,” published by the University of California. The booklet is available to researchers in the School of Dentistry records, AR 2015-4.

Dentistry “Earthquake Class” of 1906

On April 18, 1906, a massive earthquake struck San Francisco. UC facilities in the city sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the clinical teaching lab of the School of Dentistry (then called the College of Dentistry / Dental Department). As the college began to reestablish teaching activities following the disaster, dentistry faculty considered how best to manage the would-be graduating class of 1906.

College of Dentistry class of 1906. AR 2015-4 SOD records

College of Dentistry class of 1906. AR 2015-4 SOD records

Though further instruction immediately following the earthquake was not possible and many of the department’s student records were destroyed, the faculty ultimately decided to recommend the class of 1906 for graduation. As Dentistry Dean and Professor Guy S. Millberry noted in his key to the class photograph, the students “graduated after the Earthquake April 18 without examination.”

Guy Millberry key to the "earthquake class" photo, 1906. AR 2015-4 SOD records

Guy Millberry key to the 1906 “earthquake class” photo. AR 2015-4 SOD records

Look closely at the class photograph above and you’ll notice a surprising detail: a skull in the second row (click on the image to enlarge). Millberry even includes a sketch of the skull in his key, noting its identity is unknown.

Click here to learn more about how the Affiliated Colleges (later UCSF) responded to the earthquake. The School of Dentistry records, AR 2015-4, include a number of early dentistry photographs and historical documents. Please contact us if you would like to view the material.