Acting dean Sigmund Abelson, left, and longtime dean Harold Slavkin.
On March 26, the USC School of Dentistry celebrated the deanship of Harold Slavkin, who led the school from 2000 through 2008.
Faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends marked the occasion with a reception in the University Club, complete with a performance by members of the Trojan Marching Band. Acting dean Sigmund Abelson welcomed attendees and lauded Slavkin as a visionary, innovator and great communicator.
“You are admired and loved by your School of Dentistry,” Abelson said. “We are all the better because of your caring.”
Ralph Allman, chair of the School of Dentistry’s Board of Councilors, saluted Slavkin’s “lifetime of achievement” while Executive Vice President and Provost C. L. Max Nikias conveyed his and President Steven B. Sample’s “heartfelt gratitude” for Slavkin’s leadership.
“The School of Dentistry will be building on the solid foundation you have laid for years to come,” Nikias said. “The university did not achieve this lofty standing through magic or luck; USC’s success is part of his exceptional legacy.”
Slavkin’s grandson Max Slavkin, a USC senior majoring in political science, recalled accompanying his grandfather to his laboratory as well as to academic functions overseas and getting a sense of the respect and admiration Slavkin received from his peers. He added that his grandfather’s career and philosophies have made an impact on his life and goals as he approaches graduation.
“It’s all about leaving the world a little bit better than we found it,” he said.
Slavkin, who will have spent more than four decades at USC when he returns as a School of Dentistry faculty member in 2010, thanked everyone for their support as well as the opportunity to be a part of the school’s community.
“After all is said and done, it’s a human endeavor,” Slavkin said. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives.”