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The S. Elmer Bear Chair was established to honor the man who brought the study and practice of oral surgery to the VCU School of Dentistry.
S. Elmer Bear began teaching at the MCV School of Dentistry in 1951. He lectured in oral surgery, exodontia and anesthesia. Over the next few years, Bear became a full tenured professor, chief of the MCV Hospital Division of oral surgery and chair of the dental school's oral surgery department. In 1974, Bear's role expanded to include appointments at the School of Medicine and the School of Dentistry. Bear remained active as professor and chair until his death in 1981.
The S. Elmer Bear Chair ensures the continuing presence at the VCU School of Dentistry of a nationally respected expert in the specialty of oral surgery. Watch this video to learn more about the S. Elmer Bear Chair.
Daniel M. Laskin, D.D.S., M.S., began his career at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry where he worked for more than 30 years as an OMFS educator, practitioner and program director.
Laskin decided to take on a new challenge in 1984 when he moved to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, as chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He continues to work at VCU, though he stepped down as chair in 2002. To this day, however, Laskin continues to lecture on OMFS all over the world.
Believing strongly in the need to continue and increase research in the OMFS field, he provided seed money in 2016 for a professorship in OMFS research with a planned gift of $250,000.
Through his generous bequest, Laskin issued a challenge for other oral surgeons to match his $250,000 to create a full professorship in research.
A professorship in academia is a prestigious position that allows the professorship holder to “buy time” from teaching to pursue research. Interest generated from the $500,000 full-professorship can be used to outfit labs, hire additional personnel—whatever the professor needs most to advance his or her research. It is a mark of the highest standing in a career, and allows the university to attract and retain the best talent in the field.
In honor of Dr. Laskin’s legacy of teaching and research, the professorship will carry his name. He believes that having residents engage in meaningful research not only provides information that helps to advance our specialty, but also that it ultimately makes them better surgeons and improves patient care by teaching them how to critically evaluate the literature and thus make their clinical efforts evidence-based rather than empirical.
The Evie Laskin Scholarship Fund was established in her memory in 2012 by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Daniel M. Laskin, professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Evie was not only deeply devoted to her family, but was always concerned about the welfare of others. Thus, it is appropriate that this scholarship will be helpful to further the education of students in financial need from underrepresented populations.
Dr. Nick H. Wang was born on March 15, 1976. He earned a D.M.D. degree from the University of Connecticut, a M.D. degree from the University of Texas (San Antonio) and finally completed his oral maxillofacial surgery residency from the VCU School of Dentistry in 2012. After a courageous battle with cancer, he passed away on February 10, 2017. Dr. Wang was known in the community for his generosity, kindness, and dedication to his patients. He put others before himself, and was a strong believer in “giving back”. In that spirit, this fund was created by his widow, Dr. Alice Wang to help defray the cost of tuition for future D.D.S. students who are interested in pursuing a career in oral surgery.