Each year, the dental school hosts several special events and retreats celebrating student milestones and accomplishments.
During matriculation week, all first-year students attend a two-day retreat on the Stockton campus. During the retreat, students meet with student leaders from the second-year and third-year classes to discuss student experiences and leadership opportunities. Several activities are planned to encourage interaction between students and faculty, such as team building activities and a social mixer.
Supportive Partners' Night is an event for first-year students and their spouses or significant others to discuss relationship management during dental school. The event includes a complimentary buffet dinner; a presentation from our full-time clinical psychologist about how to deal with the challenges of dental school; and a question and answer session featuring second- and third-year students and their significant others.
The White Coat Ceremony is a significant event which symbolizes the students' transition into the clinical portion of our program. The ceremony includes second-year DDS students and first-year IDS students, as well as our dental hygiene students from the Stockton campus. The event is held at an elegant off-campus venue and includes remarks from leaders in organized dentistry and the dean, who leads the recitation of the dental school's Professional Oath.
In the summer quarter, the second-year DDS students participate in a casual one-day retreat at the Presidio. During the retreat, we have presentations about wellness and self-care. Students have the opportunity to bond before entering into the clinic and participate in team building activities.
This annual celebration, featuring a lavish dinner, video presentations, superlative awards and dancing, marks the second-year students' completion of the first half of our dental program. The Thomas R. Bales Family Endowment also honors one second-year student with the Good Samaritan Award, which recognizes the student who shows the most kindness to his/her classmates throughout the first half of the program. Many students from other classes, as well as faculty and administrators also attend this event.
The graduating classes are invited to the Monterey Peninsula for a weekend retreat. The five-year and 20-year reunion classes are also invited and many faculty members and administrators attend. A continuing education program is given on Saturday morning, followed by afternoon activities such as golf, ocean kayaking, tennis and bike riding with entertainment in the evening. This event allows students to continue to develop strong ties with each other, meet with members of the Alumni Association and have a small respite from the rigors of preparing for graduation.
Each spring our school family comes together for Bridge Builders, one of the most anticipated and festive events of the year! Bridge Builders celebrates cultural diversity at the dental school and gives students, faculty and staff a chance to share their cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities with others. Participants host themed tables that represent their native country, ethnicity or region and share traditional food, drinks, music and customs.
Each year, students, faculty and staff gather for a celebration of research, clinical and community service achievements at the Dugoni School. Excellence Day is a long-standing tradition that allows the school community to share their projects with colleagues, friends, alumni and special guests. The event features poster presentations, case presentations with patients, a keynote speaker, reception and awards ceremony.
The graduating class is invited to this brunch during graduation week to thank their families and loved ones for their support during dental school. Graduates present their family members and friends with the dental school's own "Ph.T." (Putting Him/Her Through) certificates while the group practice administrators read note of thanks written by each student.
The Alumni Association hosts this festive and celebratory event for the graduating class at The Ritz-Carlton. Members of the graduating class receive awards for scholarship, leadership, community service, research, character and excellence in specialized areas of dentistry. They are welcomed as new Alumni Association members, encouraged to continue to participate in school activities and to support the association and the school.