Dr. John Olmsted and Ms. Frankie Olmsted, along with the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) Foundation for Endodontics, have generously contributed to a new endowment fund to establish the Olmsted Family Distinguished Professorship in Endodontics. This professorship is the school’s 17th endowed professorship and will be held in the Dental Foundation of North Carolina (DFNC).
The endowment of the Olmsted Family Professorship is the culmination of a long history of commitment to the school’s Department of Endodontics. The Olmsteds and the UNC School of Dentistry secured an additional $100,000 contribution from the AAE Foundation for Endodontics to bring the fund to the threshold to receive the State of North Carolina match of $167,000. When fully funded, the professorship will be a $500,000 endowment.
“This is an amazingly generous gift to the department,” said Dr. Ashraf Fouad, chair of the Department of Endodontics. “It is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the Olmsted family to endodontic education, and to the outstanding support from the Foundation for Endodontics and the state of North Carolina.”
The Foundation for Endodontics is the philanthropic arm of the American Association of Endodontics, with the mission to “support endodontics by providing resources and funding for research, education, public awareness and access to care.”
The Olmsted Family Professorship will benefit the endodontic graduate program director. This support may be in the form of leadership training, defraying costs to attend scientific or educational meetings, a salary stipend and/or funding workshops to further teaching skills.
“‘Education is the best investment you can make in your life.’ These words of wisdom from our parents resonate every day with us,” said Dr. Olmsted. “Frankie was raised on a farm in Iowa in a two- bedroom home one of five children, and I grew up in Iowa City with Mom and Dad in one bedroom and the five of us kids in the other bedroom. We both feel very blessed with the opportunities that the dental school faculty at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and the UNC School of Dentistry provided to Frankie with her dental lab technician education and to me with my dental school and endodontic graduate resident education. The profession of dentistry, and in particular the specialty of endodontics, has an urgent need with recruitment and retention of faculty. We hope our gift will facilitate present and future faculty.”
Dr. Olmsted is active in organized dentistry, and has held leadership appointments including: past president of the DFNC, past vice-president of the North Carolina Dental Society, past president of AAE, and 2004 general chairperson of the American Dental Association annual meeting. A well-known speaker, he has presented more than 500 days of lectures, seminars and workshops during his career. He is retired from a group endodontic practice in Greensboro with Drs. Hal Mohorn, Jr., Steven Mohorn, Ken Morgan, Jr., Matthew Baird, Will Stanley and Leslie Malueg, and retired members Drs. Wayne Mohorn, Sr., Stuart Fountain, and Dennis Torney. Currently, Dr. Olmsted serves as an adjunct faculty of endodontics at the UNC School of Dentistry and Iowa.
He received his dental degree with honors from the University of Iowa in 1975 and his master’s in endodontics from UNC in 1977. Olmsted is a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, the International College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the American College of Dentists.
Ms. Olmsted was a dental lab technician for the faculty at the University of Iowa and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who owned her own dental lab for 25 years. Their 34-year-old son, Matthew, is an orthodontist in Oak Ridge, N.C.; and their 32-year-old daughter, Courtney, is a general surgery resident at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic.
Featured in the photo: Dr. Ashraf Fouad (chair, Department of Endodontics), Dr. Linda Levin (president, AAE), Dr. Peter Morgan (president, Foundation for Endodontics), Dr. Mary Pettiette (vice-president, Foundation for Endodontics and department faculty member), Ms. Olmsted and Dr. Olmsted.