There are several special events and retreats each year that provide opportunities to celebrate student milestones and accomplishments, to get to know members of the dental school family and to just have a good time.
A few weeks after matriculation, all first-year students attend a two-day retreat in San Francisco. During the retreat, students meet with faculty advisors to discuss student issues and leadership opportunities. Several activities are planned to encourage social interaction between students and faculty, such as a speaker presentation and a boat cruise.
Supportive Partners' Night is an event for first-year students and their spouses or significant others to discuss relationship management during dental school. The event includes a complimentary buffet dinner; a presentation from our full-time clinical psychologist about how to deal with the challenges of dental school; and a question and answer session featuring second- and third-year students and their significant others.
The White Coat Ceremony is a significant event which symbolizes the students' entry into the clinical portion of our program.The ceremony includes second-year DDS students and first-year IDS students, as well as our dental hygiene students from the Stockton campus. The event is held at an elegant off-campus venue and includes remarks from leaders in organized dentistry and the dean, who leads the recitation of the dental school's Professional Oath.
A few weeks after entering the clinic, students participate in a one-day, off-campus program. Typically, the day is devoted to presentations made by the California Dental Association Diversion organization and an informative seminar led by Stamp Out Stigma, a national volunteer organization dedicated to improving health care treatment for patients with disabilities. This is a casual affair, and students exchange ideas freely.
This annual celebration, featuring a lavish buffet, talent show, awards and dancing, marks the second-year students' completion of the first half of our dental program. The Thomas R. Bales Family Endowment also honors one second-year student with the Good Samaritan Award, which recognizes the student who shows the most kindness to his classmates throughout the first half of the program. Many students from other classes, as well as faculty and administrators also attend this event.
The graduating classes are invited to the Monterey Peninsula for a weekend retreat. The five-year and 20-year reunion classes are also invited and many faculty members and administrators attend. A continuing education program is given each morning, followed by afternoon activities such as golf, ocean kayaking, tennis and bike riding. Commercial exhibits and table clinics are featured on Saturday evening. This event allows students to continue to develop strong ties with each other, meet with members of the Alumni Association and have a small respite from the rigors of preparing for graduation.
The graduating class is invited to this brunch during graduation week to thank their families and loved ones for their support during dental school. Graduates present their family members and friends with the dental school's own "Ph.T." (Putting Him/Her Through) certificates while the group practice administrators read note of thanks written by each student.
The Alumni Association hosts this festive and celebratory event for the graduating class at The Ritz-Carlton. Members of the graduating class receive awards for scholarship, leadership, community service, research, character and excellence in specialized areas of dentistry. They are welcomed as new Alumni Association members, encouraged to continue to participate in school activities and to support the association and the school.