When Sandy Madison (BSDH ’71, MPH ’72, DDS ’78) thinks about the School of Dentistry, the word “camaraderie” comes to mind. Fond memories of late night crown waxing and study sessions with her close-knit group of classmates made her experience in the School’s dental hygiene program most memorable. “Everyone helped each other and supported each other during the four year curriculum,” Madison recalls. “Lifelong friendships began there.”
Now, Madison and her husband, Rick Jordan (DDS ’72, MSPROS ’77), are helping the School of Dentistry with a generous $50,000 pledge to the Dental Foundation of North Carolina. Sandy is a member of the School’s Campaign Leadership Committee and the 1st District volunteer coordinator. Rick also is a volunteer solicitor for the Carolina First campaign in the 1st District.
“This is a terrific way for Sandy and Rick to lead by example,” Dean John Stamm says. “They have made a wonderful commitment to the School as volunteers, and they have been and continue to be generous contributors to the DFNC and our School. It’s people like Sandy and Rick who have made it possible for us to raise more than $25 million in the Carolina First campaign.”
Madison and Jordan are splitting their pledge four ways — Department of Prosthodontics, Department of Endodontics, Dental Hygiene, and an endowed scholarship in general dentistry.
“All of those programs have been hugely important to us in terms of allowing us to enter the profession, to work within our specialties and to ultimately give back to the public the quality dental care that is so prevalent in our state,” Madison says.
After earning her degree in dental hygiene and the MPH in Public Administration at the School of Public Health, Madison returned to the School of Dentistry to teach dental hygiene for two years. That teaching experience inspired Madison to continue her education and pursue a specialty in endodontics. “Teaching and being in the faculty inspired me to pursue a dental degree and specialty in endodontics,” she recalls. “It gave me the confidence that I, too, could do that.”
Madison completed her general practice residency and endodontic specialty training at the University of Iowa in 1981. The joy she found in teaching led her back to Chapel Hill to to join UNC’s endodontics faculty for six years. She served as the chair of the department for three years.
When they left UNC, Madison and Jordan moved to Asheville where she set up her endodontics practice and he set up a practice in prosthodontics. Rick, who taught in the School’s Department of Prosthodontics and served as chair from 1991-1992, retired from practice in 2002 due to a neck injury. They’ve raised two Carolina graduates — Josh (2000) and Chris (2001) — and look forward to December when they will graduate their youngest Tar Heel, daughter Abby.
Madison also looks forward to the School’s future with optimism. She anticipates that the School of Dentistry will continue to be at the forefront of technological advancement with programs such as distance learning and interactive classrooms. She and her husband agree that everyone must lend a helping hand to help the School maintain its reputation and growth.
“Without alumni giving, the dental school cannot maintain the same level of excellence we have right now,” Madison said. “It is our privilege to support the academic programs at the School. Madison and Jordan certainly are doing their part to maintain that level of excellence.