June was a very special month for me and my lecture partners of the past 25 years, Vince Kokich and Dave Mathews.

On June 12th, we gave a benefit lecture at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. All proceeds and donations went to raise money for the establishment of the Kokich/Mathews/Spear Endowed Fund for Academic Leadership in Dentistry for the University of Washington School of Dentistry. The purpose of this endowment is to support the professional development of faculty and further elevate the quality of teaching at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Distributions from this endowment will be used to provide opportunities for faculty to learn educational methodologies and hone presentation and communication skills to create an effective, dynamic and engaging learning environment for students. Hopefully, this will also support a new part-time teaching position, bringing an expert in faculty development and training to the School of Dentistry to lead workshops and provide one-on-one consultation with faculty. The scope of the endowment may extend beyond faculty to offer training to graduate students interested in an academic career, or pre-doctoral students who would like to develop their teaching and presentation skills.

We are very pleased to announce that the event generated more than a quarter million dollars in cash donations and pledges! The three of us have always been focused on teaching at the highest level, and we believe that it should start in dental school. We are proud to leave this legacy to the University of Washington School of Dentistry.