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Dugoni School of Dentistry Holds Memorial for Dr. Nilesh Pillai

January  06, 2010

Dr. Nilesh Pilai

Dr. Nilesh Pilai

The International Dental Studies Class of 2011 at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry held a memorial service to honor Dr. Nilesh Pillai, who passed away over the winter break. Pillai was a passenger involved in a Dec. 27 car accident on a snow-slickened road in Wood County, Ohio where he was visiting family.

The memorial took place Friday, Jan. 8 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in room 103 at the school's San Francisco campus. Students, friends, faculty and others at the school were invited to share memories of Pillai and recall his friendship, kindness and other qualities he displayed during his time at the dental school.

"Nilesh was a dear friend," said Kunal Karan, president of the IDS Class of 2011. "Unfortunately, we don't have him with us anymore, but he will always be a part of the IDS 2011 class.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Nilesh, his family and friends."

Originally from India, Pillai graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Dental College in Solapur, Maharashtra, India in 2007. He came to the United States and earned a Masters in Public Health degree in May 2009 from Western Kentucky University. In July 2009, he started in the International Dental Studies program at the Dugoni School of Dentistry.

"The memory of Nilesh will live on among the students and faculty members who were part of his life here in San Francisco," said Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr. "His fellow classmates and IDS program leaders remember Nilesh's kindness, knowledge, generosity of spirit and passion for pursuing additional education. He will very much be missed at our school. We send our deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time."

Details and reflections about Pillai's life are available through an online memorial set up by his family and friends at

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