On March 2, Dr. William Douglas Strickland, alumnus of the DDS Class of 1956 and longtime faculty member in the Department of Operative Dentistry, passed away at the age of 89.
Strickland enrolled at the UNC School of Dentistry in fall 1952 as part of the DDS Class of 1956. He graduated first in his class and was asked to join the school’s faculty upon his graduation. He dedicated his career to educating students at the school, spending 30 years as a member of the Department of Operative Dentistry faculty. In 1969, he won the inaugural Richard F. Hunt, Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence in Predoctoral Teaching, which is awarded based on student vote and remains the school’s highest teaching honor. After 30 years at UNC, Strickland left academia and spent his final eight professional years in private practice before retiring.
Prior to attending UNC, Strickland earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and spent two years in the U.S. Army.
Strickland was a fellow of the International College of Dentists and also the American College of Dentists, and recorder for the national dental fraternity, Psi Omega.
After his retirement, Strickland took up duck carving and became an award-winning competitor. Of his past times, he most enjoyed golf, something that only his passion for the Tar Heels surpassed. He was a member of Antioch Baptist Church and was known among his friends for his positive attitude and infectious laugh.
Strickland was predeceased by his first wife, Barbara Cheek Strickland (1993) and his son, James Douglas Strickland (2014). He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Lynn Taylor Strickland; his daughter and two sons, and their spouses; his 10 grandchildren; and his five great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to either the Dr. W. Douglas Strickland Faculty Support Fund (Dental Foundation of North Carolina, Attn. Paul Gardner, Campus Box 7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450); Antioch Baptist Church Technology Ministry (1707 White Cross Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27516); or UNC Hospice (287 East St., Suite 221, Pittsboro, NC 27312).