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Dr. Jerry Long takes reins of UTSD Advisory Council

S. Jerry Long, DDS

S. Jerry Long, DDS, is the new chair of the UTSD Development Advisory Council.

Houston general dentist S. Jerry Long, DDS, a 1966 graduate of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, has assumed leadership of the school’s Development Advisory Council. He succeeds Dr. Meherwan Boyce, whose term ended this year.  The School of Dentistry is part of the UT Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Long has a distinguished record of public service, including volunteering to serve as co-chair of UTSD’s Open to Health initiative, which has raised more money for the school in the past six years than had been raised in the previous 100 years combined.  A native of East Texas, he served in the Air Force before attending The University of Texas at Austin.

Long was elected to the Texas Dental Association’s Board of Directors in 1992 and for eight years served as chair of the TDA Council on Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. He’s a three-time winner of the TDA President’s Award for his contributions to the association, and he recently concluded a four-year term as the ADA 15th District Trustee representing Texas at the American Dental Association’s headquarters in Chicago.  In 2011, he was awarded the TDA’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.

UTSD Dean John A. Valenza, DDS ’81, said having Long at the helm of the Advisory Council is an exciting prospect.  “Jerry has a reputation for visionary thinking and for getting things done — two characteristics that make him an excellent leader, and we’re delighted that he’s agreed to take this on,” Valenza said.

Long said he accepted the chairmanship because UTSD gave him his first professional opportunity by selecting him for admission in 1962, when the school was known as the UT School of Dentistry. 

“Since then, dentistry has not only been my business, but my passion.  Any successes I’ve enjoyed throughout my career can largely be attributed to the training and mentoring that began when I was a freshman dental student,” he said. “My involvement in the campaign is merely to say, ‘Thank you, UTSD, for the chance of a lifetime.’”

The Advisory Council exists to promote philanthropy and lend support and counsel to the school, helping UTSD achieve its goal of being the leading dental school in the nation. Members are nominated by the dean, confirmed by the other members, and serve two-year, unpaid terms. Meetings are held at least twice a year.

The School of Dentistry’s Advisory Council was reorganized in 2011, and Valenza said it has become a model for other UTHealth schools.

Advisory Council members are required to have personally donated to the school and are expected to be active participants in raising major gifts for the School of Dentistry. They serve as ambassadors for UTSD to the profession and the community at large. They support fundraising activities on behalf of the school, both personally and through contacts in the philanthropic and business communities.  And finally, they serve as a “sounding board” and counsel for the dean and UTHealth administration.

Currently, the UTSD Advisory Council has 31 members, including Long, Valenza,  R. G. “Wick” Alexander, DDS; Ron Auvenshine, DDS, PhD; Rick Bebermeyer, DDS; W. R. “Bill” Birdwell, DDS; Doug Bogan, DDS; Rita Cammarata, DDS; James Chancellor, DDS; Scott Coleman, DDS; Denton Cooley, MD; Ronada Davis, DDS; Les Fullerton, DDS; Fred Garrett, DDS; Allen Gaw, DDS; Ha Ho, DDS; Chuck Hoopingarner, DDS; Ken Horwitz, DDS; Elizabeth Hunsaker, DDS; Ron Johnson, DDS; Jerry Katz, DDS; Don Le, DDS; Brad Loeffelholz, DDS; Katharine Orton; Phil Pierpont, DDS; Ron Rhea, DDS; Larry Spradley, DDS; Steve Susman, JD; Herb Wade, DDS; and B.J. Westbrook, DDS.   UTSD Executive Director of Development John Greer is an ex officio member of the council.