View From The Hill: WKU Dental Hygiene recognizing fifty years of graduates at Homecoming next month

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU’s Dental Hygiene program is celebrating a milestone next month during Homecoming weekend.

Amy Bingham has more on “50 years of Dental Hygiene on the Hill” in this week’s View from the Hill.

The very first class from WKU’s Dental Hygiene program graduated in 1972. Fifty years and thousands of graduates later, the program is stronger than ever!

“I have days like today where I’m a clinician assistant where I go around helping everybody who has patients today.”

Senior Sara Mclean and her classmates get hands-on experience in WKU’s dental hygiene clinic.

“We have people who are family members of ours, friends of ours, we have people who have been coming here since we’ve been open is what I’m told.”

Since it opened in 1970 in the Academic Complex, the program has increased capacity from 16 to 28 students per class.

“In 2015 we did a pretty big remodel so we got to add an operatory, make some of the operatories bigger.”

Instructor Diana Ransdell has been on staff since 2005 but her history with the program goes back even further.

“I am a graduate of this program and I would like to say that so are five of our eight faculty that are here now are graduates of our program.”

She says the program’s family atmosphere is one thing that hasn’t changed.

“We not only teach classes but we’re in clinic with our students so we’re pretty much with our students all day every day so we do get to become family and very close with them.”

It was a summer visit from members of the 1972 graduating class that inspired the department to host a full-blown 50th anniversary this fall.

“We just thought wait a minute, we need to, it’s been fifty years, we need to have a huge celebration to celebrate all of our graduates that we are so proud of.”

“We’re welcoming all former students to return and just come back home for Homecoming.”

Who knows, maybe Sara Mclean and her classmates will be back for their 50th anniversary in 2073.

“50 Years of Dental Hygiene on the Hill” is planned for Friday, October 28th, the day before WKU’s Homecoming Game.

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