The society is named after Dr. J. Dean Robertson, a pediatric dentist and former OU College of Dentistry faculty member. Dr. Robertson is Oklahoma's first licensed pediatric dentist. In fact, his pediatric dental license reads "No. 1." He practiced pediatric dentistry in Oklahoma for more than six decades, before retiring at the age of 92. In June, Dr. Robertson celebrated a major milestone: his 101st birthday!
Dr. Robertson's career began in 1941 when he graduated with honors from Baylor University. Upon the completion of his pediatric residency program at Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Dr. Robertson then worked as a military dentist.
After his service in the military, Dr. Robertson and his wife, Skippy, moved to Wichita Falls, Texas where he set up his own pediatric dental practice. A year later, in 1947, he and Skippy moved to Oklahoma City, where he once again established his own private pediatric dental practice.
In 1976, Dr. Robertson joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma's newly founded College of Dentistry. During his tenure at the college, he taught hundreds of dental students and continued to mentored them throughout their professional careers.
When the college first began talks of a formal fundraising society to raise private funds, the founding committee agreed the name of the society would be one of the keys to its success. The name needed credibility, neutrality and recognizability. One name came immediately to mind: Dr. Joseph Dean Robertson.
Dr. Robertson is an icon within Oklahoma dental community. Well-known and respected as a practitioner, Dr. Robertson is the quintessential professional. At the college, he was beloved by faculty, students, administrators and alumni alike.
The vote was unanimous, and in 1988 the J. Dean Robertson Society was officially formed. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees took place on September 10, 1988.
During his life-long commitment to the profession of dentistry, Dr. Robertson served as the president of both the Oklahoma Dental Association and the Southwest Society of Pediatric Dentistry. In 1979, he was named the ODA's Dentist of the Year.
In 2011, the year following his retirement, the College of Dentistry's Alumni Committee honored Dr. Robertson with the prestigious Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Robertson passed away on February 5, 2019 at the age of 101.
He will be greatly missed. But the College is committed to
ensuring his legacy will be remembered by faculty, staff, students,
administrators and alumni for generations to come.
Click here to read more about Dr. Robertson (excerpt from the 2019 OU Dentistry magazine).