OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—It is with deep sorrow the OU College of Dentistry shares the news of the passing of one of its great friends and patrons, Dr. Jerome B. Miller.
Dr. Miller was a nationally-recognized and respected pediatric dentist. He taught part-time at the college and mentored a countless number of dental students throughout his professional career.
An Oklahoma native, Dr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma. After graduating in 1963, he attended dental school at Baylor College of Dentistry and received his graduate pediatric dentistry training at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Miller returned to Oklahoma City in 1968, where he established his private pediatric dental practice and dedicated his life to providing high-quality dental care to the children of Oklahoma, up until his retirement in 2012.
Dr. Miller’s impact on the dental profession is profound. He served as president and was a fellow of both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American College of Dentists, where he worked tirelessly to elevate the ethics of the profession. Both organizations recognized his efforts by awarding him their top awards, the Distinguished Service Award (AAPD-1999), the Pediatric Dentist of the Year (AAPD-2004) and the William J. Gies Award (ACD-217). Further, he was a valued fellow in both the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentistry.
Despite earning his dental education at other institutions, Dr. Miller considered the University of Oklahoma to be his home. The OU College of Dentistry first opened in 1972, nearly a decade after Dr. Miller enrolled in dental school. In an interview from 2016, Dr. Miller said, “I call OU my dental school now, even though I wasn’t able to go there.”
Dr. Miller was a great advocate and supporter of the college. It was largely through his efforts that the college’s first endowed chair came to culmination – the William E. Brown Chair in Pediatric Dentistry. In addition, he played an integral role in the creation of the J. Dean Robertson Society, the college’s annual private support fund and largest fundraiser.
Concerned about the ever-rising cost of dental education, Dr. Miller established the Miller Scholarship in 2003, providing an annual $5,000 award to a deserving dental student who showed great enthusiasm and promise in pediatric dentistry. He continued to stay in contact with and mentor these scholars throughout their professional lives.
In 2009, he was awarded the OU College of Dentistry Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the college’s highest honor.
In 2016, Dr. Miller, and his wife Kay, announced a $1 million gift to the college to underwrite the renovation of OU’s pediatric dental clinic, which treats more than 2,000 low-income patients per year.
When asked what inspired this gift, Dr. Miller said, “One of the principal reasons I give to the college is that they are teaching state-of-the-art dentistry, and that’s what I’m about.
“I want the children of Oklahoma to have the best oral health they can, and this is the way to get it,” he said. “You need to train young doctors with the newest techniques and in the best facilities.”
In recognition of his life-long support and dedication to the OU College of Dentistry, the college is honored to announce the naming of its pediatric dental clinic in his memory, and will hereby be known as the Dr. Jerome B. Miller Pediatric Dental Clinic.
When renovations are complete, the Dr. Jerome B. Miller Pediatric Dental Clinic will be one of the most technologically advanced clinics available, with full computerization and the addition of 3-D radiographic units, transforming the appearance of the current institutional clinic to one that more resembles private practice.