Inaugural Dean Kenneth B. Chance, DDS, Endowed Distinguished Lectureship


The inaugural Dean Kenneth B. Chance, DDS, Endowed Distinguished Lectureship was held on Nov. 17 in Samson Pavilion. 

Dean Kenneth B. Chance, President of the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society, and his family established this series in honor of the 130th Anniversary of the School of Dental Medicine. Featuring Jon B. Suzuki, DDS, PhD, MBA, the focus of the lecture, "Excellence: the pathway to leadership", is a topic and perspective not only central to the field of dental medicine, but it is applicable to all disciplines.

Relatable to students and professionals in cross-disciplinary fields, this ongoing lecture series will promote necessary dialogue and meaningful interactions, contributing to the better understanding of complex issues that confront our society.

Suzuki holds clinical professorships at the University of Maryland, the University of Washington and Nova Southeastern University. He is also on the faculty of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Suzuki is the chairman of the Food and Drug Administration Dental Products Advisory Panel and the current executive secretary/treasurer of the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society, serving in this position for three decades.

Dominic Ozanne, president and CEO of Ozanne Construction, the firm contracted to build the School of Dental Medicine Dental Clinic, introduced Suzuki. Ozanne’s involvement in the opening of the clinic and his Board of Trustees appointment made him an obvious choice to open the event. 

In his presentation, Suzuki outlined four layers of “excellence”— Global, National, University and Individual—that can be explored from macro-level (global excellence) to micro-level (individual) decisions. Overall, he urged perseverance in the search for excellence. 

“Be patient,” Suzuki said. “Excellence takes patience to develop. And when it comes to defining excellence, I look at my experience and where I find excellence every day.” 

Among those in attendance were Dean Kenneth Chance and Vice Dean and Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Dale Baur. 

“I thought this lecture was wonderful,” said Dean Chance.  “It is an example of what we are trying to do in the School of Dental Medicine—center individuals who are leaders in their own profession but who operate outside of those professions where their expertise is needed to solve problems.” 

“Dr. Suzuki is an eminent scholar, educator, scientist and administrator with a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said Vice Dean Baur. “His words of wisdom on professional careers and life in general were inspiring for all in attendance. I found him to be a very sincere and humble individual in spite of his many accomplishments.”

Many students also attended the lecture, including third-year DMD student Hannah Hales. 

“As a student, being able to hear a lecture from Dr. Suzuki was an incredible opportunity,” explained Hales. “Dr. Suzuki gave wonderful advice which was applicable to careers within dentistry and advice for addressing general challenges in life.”

The Dean Kenneth B. Chance, DDS, Endowed Distinguished Lectureship will continue to be held yearly with the goal of elevating dentistry while also promoting interdisciplinary collaboration.