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DDS Class of 1963 Meets for Reunion

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:10pm

UT Dental Branch Class of 1963, in a photo taken April 5, 2013.

Members of the UT Dental Branch Class of 1963 gathered for their 50th reunion on April 5. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

Alumni from The University of Texas Dental Branch’s Class of 1963 gathered for their 50-year reunion in April, and for many it was their first time touring the now-renamed “School of Dentistry’s” new building.

Thirty-two graduates out of about 50 surviving alumni from that class attended the April 5 reunion. A reception at the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center and a tour of the school’s new state-of-the-art facilities were followed by a dinner party at the Bellaire home of William “Bill” Watkins, DDS, and his wife Elena.

The alumni reminisced about old times, especially shared memories of particularly grueling years at dental school, Watkins said.

“They rode us pretty hard. They told us up front they would flunk out 20 percent of us,” he said, adding only 79 of the 100 who entered in that class ended up graduating. Most who did graduate are now retired after long careers in dentistry, and they can laugh about their dental school memories now, he added.

“It was good to see everyone again,” Watkins said. “We figured we had to get together for our 50th reunion; it could be the last one.”

Class of ’63 alums came from the far corners of Texas, but the one who traveled farthest was Ronald Vaughn, DDS, MS, who resides in New York City.