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2017 Deans Circle Dinner copy

J. Dean Robertson Society

Established in 1988, the J. Dean Robertson Society is the private annual support group for the College of Dentistry; and is among the largest fundraising efforts for the college. Named after a beloved faculty member, the society provides critical funding to further the mission of the college. This year is a milestone year, as we celebrate both Dr. Robertson’s 101st birthday, and the 30th year of the J. Dean Robertson Society!

The society is composed of both alumni and friends who are dedicated to the advancement of excellence throughout the college. Members of the J. Dean Robertson Society show their support through generous gifts to the college each year.

Giving Levels

Donors to the J. Dean Robertson Society who give at an annual level of $1,250 are considered members of the Dean’s Circle, and are recognized for their generosity at the college’s annual Dean’s Circle Dinner. Below are the various recognized giving levels. We encourage you to give at whatever level you are most comfortable

Dean's Circle Membership Levels

Dean’s Circle Gold: $5,000

Dean’s Circle Silver: $2,500

Dean's Circle: $1,250

Full-time Faculty: $1,000

Young Dean's Circle Membership Levels

The J. Dean Robertson Society recognizes the following Dean’s Circle giving levels from Young Alumni who graduated within the last 10 years: 

Class of 2010 – Class of 2016: $500

Class of 2017: $400

Class of 2018: $300

Class of 2019: $200

Other Giving Levels

Fellow: $500 - $1,249

Affiliate: $250 - $499 

Patron: $100 - $249

Donor: $99 or Less

Your Support

Since its inception in September 1988, the J. Dean Robertson Society has provided the necessary funding for the college's initiatives. Below are areas in which your gift makes an impact: 

  • In 2012, the OU College of Dentistry set into motion a plan to invest in our own future. Our building, which had been primarily untouched since its completion in 1976, was in need of major renovations. As such, J. Dean Robertson Society's Board of Trustees made a $500,000 commitment to the college to fund, in part, some of the necessary renovations. 
  • Each year, through the J. Dean Robertson Society, the college awards scholarships for both dental and dental hygiene students. By the fall 2020 semester, this number will grow to $100,000 in scholarships.
  • In addition, each year the J. Dean Robertson Society provides $50,000 towards Indigent Care, for patients that are unable to afford the cost of their treatment.
  • Through the J. Dean Robertson Society, students are afforded opportunities to conduct research projects that inspire innovation and will change the future of dentistry. 
  • Students are also provided the opportunity to participate in externships, which allows them even more hands-on experience while providing dental care in more rural communities throughout the state of Oklahoma. 
  • Furthermore, your gift to the J. Dean Robertson Society will provide academic support, such as tutoring services, for our students; and supports student recruitment efforts, to ensure we reach the brightest dental and dental hygiene students. 

Who is Dr. Robertson?

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).

Ways to Give

Ready to make your gift to the J. Dean Robertson Society? 

You can make your gift online, by clicking here. Under the section titled "Use my gift for," please be sure the "J. Dean Robertson Society Annual Campaign" is selected from the drop-down menu. 

If you would like to learn more about various ways in which you can support the OU College of Dentistry and the J. Dean Robertson Society, please click here.


Megan (Louk) Drew
Director of External Affairs
(405) 271-4380

Taylor Lingle
Director of Advancement
Cell: (309) 212-1357