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Legendary Dental Educator Arthur A. Dugoni, DDS, MSD, Passes Away at 95

Arthur A. Dugoni, DDS, MSD

Arthur A. Dugoni, DDS, MSD, who transformed the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry into one of the nation’s preeminent institutions during his 28 years as dean, died September 23 at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 95.

The charismatic and energetic educator championed a student-centered, humanistic approach to dentistry that became a national model in dental education. Dugoni’s remarkable life and leadership inspired students, residents, faculty, and staff to pursue their passion for oral healthcare, thus improving the lives of countless patients.

A legend in the field of dental education, from 1978 to 2006 he was dean of what became known as the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. His other roles at the school included teaching operative dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and orthodontics. He also chaired the Department of Orthodontics. Previously, Dugoni had practiced in San Francisco for 14 years before earning his orthodontics degree in 1963 from the University of Washington. Upon returning to Northern California, he pioneered the mixed dentition orthodontic clinic at University of the Pacific and maintained a private orthodontic practice in South San Francisco until 1987.

In addition to leading the dental school for nearly three decades, Dugoni served as president of the American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, American Board of Orthodontics, and the California Dental Association. He presented more than 1,000 lectures, papers, clinics, and essays during his career, and published more than 175 articles. He was one of only 30 living members of the FDI World Dental Federation’s List of Honour.

“Dentistry and dental education are stronger today because of Dr. Dugoni and his passion for people and the profession,” notes Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD, the school’s current dean. “Thank you to an incredible mentor and role model.”

Under Dugoni’s leadership, the dental school incorporated digital dentistry into the curriculum, added a state-of-the-art simulation lab, and launched the International Dental Studies program. During his tenure as dean, clinical services and community outreach were expanded, as were research efforts that led to new dental products and techniques.

Among his many accolades, Dugoni received the Hinman Medallion for Leadership, Albert H. Ketcham Orthodontic Award from the American Board of Orthodontics, Medallion of Distinction from the School of Dentistry, Chairman’s Award from the American Dental Trade Association, Pierre Fauchard Academy Gold Medal, Distinguished Service Award from the American Dental Association and American Dental Education Association, University of the Pacific’s Order of Pacific (Pacific’s highest honor, for 55 years of service), Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the William J. Gies Award from the American Dental Education Association for outstanding achievement as a dental educator.

In addition to being a fellow of the American and International College of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International, Dugoni held memberships in the Tau Kappa Omega, Phi Kappa Phi, and Omicron Kappa Upsilon honor societies.

Memorial gifts may be made to The Art Dugoni Scholar Fund, an endowment that will support a University of the Pacific dental student. To learn more, visit the fund’s site or call the Office of Development at (415) 929-6406.

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