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IU School of Dentistry honors outstanding alumni, names dean as honorary alumnus

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana University School of Dentistry Alumni Association Board of Directors honored three alumni and named Dean John N. Williams an honorary alumnus at the 71st Dental Alumni Conference.

Retired Indianapolis dentist Floyd E. Hale, a 1955 dental graduate of IU, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. As a complement to his full-time private practice, Hale served IU’s dental students as a part-time professor in the restorative dentistry department. His weekly contribution to the dental school’s academic mission, and therefore to the residents of Indiana, lasted for 34 of his 40 years in practice. Hale formerly served as a part-time dentist for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is a fellow of the International College of Dentists.

Lafayette, Ind., orthodontist Frederick L. Sputh, who holds a 1977 dental degree and 1979 master’s degree in orthodontics from IU, received the Distinguished Service Award. Sputh was cited for helping the dental school build stronger ties to its alumni through special programming, including the creation in 2005 of a highly successful biennial cruise series that is now considered one of the school’s principal events.

Sputh has served on the school’s alumni board for nearly 20 years, including a term as president in 2001-02, and he is also a member of the school’s advisory board. He is a fellow of the International College of Dentists and American College of Dentists.

Lafayette, Ind., periodontist Scott A. Reef, who holds a 1991 dental degree and 1996 master’s degree in periodontics from IU, received the Certificate of Appreciation. The Zionsville, Ind., resident was the driving force behind the 2010 creation of the IU Periodontic Alumni Association. With funds Reef raised through the association, periodontic students have received stipends to help cover expenses to national meetings in their specialty.

A part-time IU professor since 1996, he served on the fundraising committee that made possible a total renovation of the dental school’s Graduate Periodontics Clinic using only donated funds. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.

Honorary alumnus John Williams accepted the IU School of Dentistry deanship in 2010 after serving as dental dean at the University of North Carolina (2005-10) and the University of Louisville (1999-2005). He is a graduate of the University of Louisville’s dental and MBA programs. He was honored in part for his leadership in working with IU’s dental faculty and staff to develop a strategic mission for the school and in organizing a building campaign for new clinical and research facilities.

Williams’ extensive work with the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation has included his roles as commissioner and chair of many comprehensive site visits to U.S. dental schools. He holds a position of prominence in the American Dental Education Association, having completed a term as vice president of the Council of Deans in 2012. He briefly served in 2012 as the IUPUI campus’s interim executive vice chancellor, and for the past year he led the recently completed search for a new dean for the Indiana University School of Medicine.