"My experience at the dental school was outstanding, and I hope to be an alumnus who helps to make it just as wonderful for future students."
It was a letter from Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr. explaining the Dean's Fund for Excellence (now known as the Pacific Dugoni Annual Fund) that caught the eye of recent graduate Dr. Tyler Nelson '07.
"The letter reminded me of the consistent effort our school is making to improve itself, and that money is needed to accomplish this vision," explains Tyler.
The Dean's Fund for Excellence provides Dr. Ferrillo with funds to address challenges and opportunities at the dental school, from much-needed improvements to the school's central sterilization to recruiting new faculty — and even providing free flu shots for faculty and staff.
"My experience at the dental school was outstanding, and I hope to be an alumnus who helps to make it just as wonderful for future students," says Tyler.
Reaching out to others was an integral part of Tyler's years in the DDS program. During his time at the school, he was elected Associated Student Body president as well as president of the Spanish Study Club and received the Delta Dental Student Leadership Award. He was an active and enthusiastic participant in the dental school's Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) volunteer program.
Tyler and his wife, Natalie, began contributing immediately following his graduation in 2007, just one month after beginning the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency at Highland Hospital/Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, California. He adds that it was his wife who inspired his decision to give back, even as he continued his dental education.
"My wife has always been a firm believer in the principle that if you don't learn to give when it is difficult, you'll never give even when it is comfortable to do so," explains Tyler. "We wanted to show our appreciation for the Dugoni School experience and knew there was no way we could not contribute to the fund that continues to take our school to greater heights."