The Impact of Giving

Dean Henry Gremillion, right, with Committee of 100 members, Dr. Anthony Indovina and Dr. Claudia Cavallino

Thanks to contributions from 261 members of the Committee of 100, a $359,800 total renovation of the student wet labs at the LSU School of Dentistry (LSUSD) is well underway. The lab on the second floor is now complete. In early 2011, renovations to the third-floor lab will begin. The wet labs play a vital role in dental education. Starting in the first year of training, dental students use the labs in the process of making diagnoses which leads to the preparation of bridges, and dentures in the wet labs. The just-completed renovation is the first since 1972, when the LSUSD buildings first opened.   

Dr. Anthony Indovina, an oral surgeon practicing in Metairie, is a founding member of the Committee of 100. He said he gave to the lab renovation campaign because so much of the school’s infrastructure needs upgrading. “The purpose of the dental school is to provide the best dental education in this country,” he said. “To do this, we must update our facilities. This school gave me my education, my profession, and that is the reason I am where I am today,” he continued. ”I appreciate all that I’ve been given and I think it is only fair to return the favor.” He received his DDS in 1974 and certificate in Oral Surgery in 1977.

Dr. Indovina’s commitment to and enthusiasm for the dental school are matched by Dr. Claudia Cavallino (DDS '02 and Pediatric Dentistry '04).  “Personally, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to get an education here,” she said. “I’m incredibly fortunate to be a part of the dental community. I wear my LSU alumni credentials with pride. We offer great services to the community.”

She practices with her father, Dr. Marvin Cavallino, also a founding member of the Committee of 100. She is a member of the LSUSD part-time faculty and recently spent a day at the dental school interviewing applicants for the pediatric dentistry residency program. She also provides her services pro-bono each year during “Give Kids A Smile Day” sponsored by the American Dental Association and implemented through free clinical care at LSUSD. “I gladly give of my time, volunteering and finances…all of this is well-spent. The students are the future of our profession. If we don’t support the dental school, we will not be supporting dentistry.”

The Committee of 100 was established in 1995 to fund renovations and upgrades to the school. Initially, each of the 124 founding members made a 10-year financial commitment to give $1,000 a year.

New fencing, landscaping and trees have replaced those lost during Hurricane Katrina.

Under the leadership of Henry Gremillion, DDS, MAGD, dean of LSUSD since 2008,  the school has experienced a significant expansion of plans to upgrade its infrastructure. “We are the only dental school in the state,” he said. “The people of Louisiana count on us to be there for them. This, in turn, requires the constant upgrading of our facilities.”

Among the major improvements completed over the last two years are:

  • A $3.5 million total renovation of the two smaller teaching auditoriums, complete with the most up-to-date audiovisual equipment
  • Iron fencing around the perimeter of the campus
  • New patient parking lots
  • New patient screening center
  • New trees and landscaping to replace those lost during Hurricane Katrina

Future plans call for a cafeteria, student lounge, recreation area and the first new building since 1972. The building will replace areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina, including clinics for faculty practice and patient research.   

Today, 75% of all dental health providers in the state are graduates of LSUSD. The graduation rate is 98.9%.

Click here for a complete listing of donors to the Committee of 100.

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Last Update 12/2010