Karen Lanier and Tim Godsey met as classmates in the periodontology graduate training program where both received a certificate and an MS degree in periodontology in 1992. Little did they know that they would work together again 11 years later and combine their resources to make a joint pledge to help renovate the graduate clinic in periodontology.
A part-time faculty member in the department, Lanier was determined to give back to the School that launched her career. She completed her undergraduate degree, a master’s degree in dental auxiliary teacher education, her DDS and her Master’s degree in periodontology at Carolina.
“Without the School, I would not have a degree. I would not have a profession,” she says. “We all spent so much time together as students. It was almost like a marriage. You live with the people in your residency. They live with you in your happiness. They live with you in your unhappiness.”
That camaraderie provided Lanier with the support system she needed to succeed after completing her education in Chapel Hill. She currently juggles two practices: one in High Point and a satellite practice in Lexington. She also serves as president of the NC Society of Periodontists.
Godsey, also a part-time faculty member, said he was happy to join with Lanier to make the contribution of $15,000. He completed his undergraduate degree and DDS at the University of Maryland before heading to Carolina to receive his specialty training in periodontology. He remembers most vividly the strong educational component in the School’s Department of Periodontology. Godsey chose to remain in Chapel Hill after graduate training and practices near campus. “I enjoyed working with patients and faculty and working with excellent researchers,” he says of his time at the School.
Ray Williams, Chairman of the Department of Periodontology, looks forward to the renovation of the graduate clinic. Four years ago he began contacting alumni and friends to ask for their support of this important project. Jeff Thomas of New Bern and the Charlotte group of Robert Rubins, Van Vagianos, Paul Tolmie, Ron Nason and John Lanz were the first contributors.
“While state funds will renovate the operatories, it became very apparent that private donations would be critical to equipping each operatory,” Williams says. “Our donors are providing us with modern, state-of-the-art dental delivery systems that will enable us to provide the best care possible for our patients. These contributions will help us greatly modernize our patient care and training clinic. That wouldn’t be possible through any other funding source other than from our alumni and friends.”