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Fall 2007

paul pokornyPaul Pokorny, D.D.S. '78

President, School of Dentistry Alumni Board

For Paul Pokorny, D.D.S. ’78, loyalty to University of Detroit Mercy—especially its School of Dentistry—comes quite naturally. “It’s really a generational attitude,” he explains. “My dad graduated from the dental school in 1953; I graduated in 1978; my son earned his D.D.S. degree in 2005, and my mother earned her B.S. degree in 1950. We are truly a family of Titans!”

As a practicing dentist specializing in prosthodontics and a part-time instructor at UDM, Pokorny has been actively involved with the Dental Alumni Board for several years. In 2002, he was elected president of the Alumni Board and continues to serve in that capacity today.

“I am committed to seeing the dental school thrive and continue to provide service in the City of Detroit.  That’s where our patients are located, and that’s where we can do the most good,” says Pokorny. “Personally, I have a very strong desire to teach my specialty of prosthodontics to dental students and ensure the quality of this area of dentistry.”

Pokorny explains that in the past 10 years he has seen a marked increase in the practice of prosthodontics, which includes cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry.  

In describing current dental school happenings, Pokorny says, “This is a very exciting time to be involved with the dental school as we celebrate its 75th anniversary and move our facilities to a new location. The Alumni Board has planned a year-long celebration of activities and events.”

From scientific seminars to Detroit Tiger baseball outings, there are a variety of activities for alumni and their families. But, most significant is the relocation of the UDM School of Dentistry to a state-of-the-art facility near downtown Detroit. The building, which was constructed 20 years ago and formerly housed Kindred Hospital, is being completely renovated.

Scheduled to open early next year, the building will accommodate all dental school facilities under one roof, including labs, classrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms, faculty offices and the patient clinic. Equipment and furniture will be moved from the Outer Drive buildings during Christmas break, and classes are scheduled to begin in the new building in January 2008.     

“We’re looking forward to having all our facilities, students and faculty members in one enclosed environment. When completed, UDM will have one of the nicest and newest dental schools in the country,” says Pokorny.

Alumni will have an opportunity to tour the new dental school during Alumni Weekend, which is scheduled for April 18-20, 2008. The festivities will begin with a black-tie dinner and fund-raising auction at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Friday evening. An alumni seminar is planned for Saturday at the Dearborn Ritz Carlton. On Sunday, organized tours of the dental school building will be offered to alumni and their families.

In addition to planning for the 75th anniversary of the School of Dentistry, the Alumni Board has taken an active role in raising funds for future projects. Through their successful efforts, funds have been generated to support the following:

• The Alumni Hall of Honor to be located in the new building, which will feature a specially-designed kiosk with an electronic list of dental school graduates and their dates of graduation.
• An alumni scholarship fund that will provide tuition for one new dental school student each year.
• Additional contribution of $37,000 toward funding the new dental school facilities.

“With the opening of our new building and the celebration of our 75th anniversary, the School will have significant local, statewide and national prominence in the coming year,” says Pokorny. “This is a wonderful time for alumni to get more involved and participate in the many planned activities with renewed pride in their alma mater.”