Dr. Erwin Schaffer, dean of the School for Dentistry from 1964 to 1977, passed away on December 25, 2007. Dean Schaffer’s tenure at the School of Dentistry served as the basis for the growth of the School and its many programs and research initiatives including geriatric dentistry and cleft palate prevention.
Appointed in 1964 by then President O. Meredith Wilson, Dean Schaffer was a part of the reformation of the health sciences and long range planning for health education at the University. After chairing the Division of Periodontology for seven years, his leadership helped to transform the free-standing School of Dentistry into one of the six schools and colleges of the AHC focused on research and clinical education. He also helped oversee the physical expansion of the School of Dentistry through planning and fundraising efforts for the construction of Unit A Health Science Tower (later renamed Moos Tower).
A memo written shortly after Dr. Schaffer’s appointment in October 1964 captures the enthusiasm many felt for the new dean’s plans. The memo highlights Dean Schaffer’s vision of preventive dentistry as the next building block to the School’s already established restorative program. Read the full memo below.