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A Good, Long Time

Spirit of ’65 to celebrate 50+ years of graduating dental hygienists at the University of Manitoba

September 4, 2015 — 

From humble beginnings to its ascendance as one of the top programs of its kind in the nation, the School of Dental Hygiene is preparing to mark a major milestone this autumn at the University of Manitoba. And all alumni of the school are invited along for the ride.

The Spirit of ’65 – which marks the 50 – year anniversary of the very first graduating class of the School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Manitoba – will mark the occasion this autumn. Highlighting graduating classes of 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10 years, the school is also welcoming all alumni – from whatever year they graduated – to attend the event.

“This is a tribute to all of those who came before us, who believed in the School of Dental Hygiene and what it could accomplish,” school director Prof. Mary Bertone said. “The students and staff who were there in the early years really persevered and worked very hard to establish our program and bring it to where it is today, one of the best programs in Canada.”

An open reunion for all alumni of the school will be held on Saturday, October 3, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In addition to a tour of the new and magnificent facility, alumni will hear and share stories and recollections from their friends, colleagues, along with school staff and administrators. Included on that list will be Prof. Marnie Forgay, the school’s first director and the driving force behind the creation of the school in 1963. The school would produce its first cohort of 12 graduates two years later, in 1965.

“This was at a time when very few women were entering the workforce, much less establishing careers as professional health–care providers,” Prof. Bertone said.

School of Dental Hygiene graduates are welcome to attend and are asked to register in advance by contacting the school via email at: dent_hygiene [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. It is anticipated that the event will be the largest reunion of alumni since the school’s 50–year anniversary held two years ago and possibility the largest of all time.

The Spirit of ’65 is the latest addition to Alumni of Distinction Weekend, the annual celebration of oral health excellence at the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne Campus. On October 2, the Alumni of Distinction Awards Evening will be held, honouring the 2015 inductees to this prestigious order.


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