Close to 100 people were in attendance at Turner Fisheries in Boston, Mass., on Thursday, Jan. 25, on the opening night of the Yankee Dental Convention, to celebrate Dr. Esther Wilkins' 90th birthday. The event was co-sponsored by Hu-Friedy, a longtime friend and collaborator with Dr. Wilkins, and Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Hu-Friedy's special relationship with Dr. Wilkins has continued to grow over the years. Her guidance and support have enabled the company to achieve more. She helped direct Hu-Friedy toward better instrument design and stronger relationships with clinicians. In honor of her legacy with students, Hu-Friedy continues to endow five Dr. Wilkins Instrument Scholarships each year through the American Dental Hygienists Association.
Dr. Wilkins' important connection with the Forsyth dental hygiene program began when she entered the program in 1938. She has served as adjunct faculty through the years and recently provided a leadership gift that named the new dental hygiene clinic and served as a catalyst for gifts from alumni and corporate partners.
Many of Dr. Wilkins' colleagues and friends put on their party hats for the special occasion, including longtime friends Mary Dole (1941) and Bea Miller (1936). Wine and hors d'oeuvres were enjoyed, and representatives from Hu-Friedy and Forsyth shared some words about Dr. Wilkins' shining accomplishments in hygiene. As the partygoers departed, they received goodie bags containing a Hu-Friedy commemorative Esther Wilkins Expro and a phone charm from Forsyth.
Major news was also made at the event as Delta Dental of Massachusetts announced it has made a $3 million endowment grant to the Forsyth School. The grant will not only fund a new, full-time professorship of community oral health, but it will also support the development of a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program. The new program will focus on the provision and administration of community oral health-care programs, as well as the education of future dental hygiene faculty members.