Profile: Arthur A. Dugoni

Arthur A. Dugoni
Dean Emeritus, Professor of Orthodontics and Senior Executive for Development

Degrees: DDS 1948; MSD 1963

Dental Specialty: Orthodontics

Hometown: San Francisco

"At Pacific we build people, and along the way they become doctors."

An exemplary educator, practitioner and leader, Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni served as dean of the dental school from 1978 to 2006 and is one of the most respected figures in the dental profession. In 2004, he became the first and only person in the United States or Canada to have a dental school named in his honor while holding the position of dean.

Throughout his career, Dugoni has held numerous leadership positions in organized dentistry and has served as president of the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, the American Dental Association Foundation, the American Board of Orthodontics and the California Dental Association. Dugoni was a member of the Council of the FDI World Dental Federation for nine years and served as treasurer and member of the FDI Executive Committee for six years.

In 1978, he took the helm as dean of the dental school, 30 years following his graduation as valedictorian and student body president of the College of Physicians & Surgeons (forerunner to the University of the Pacific). During his 28 years as dean, Dugoni was credited with developing and managing many innovations that have taken the dental school to its current level of national prominence, including the enhancement of the humanistic model of education. "At Pacific we build people, and along the way they become doctors," is one of Dugoni's famous mantras.

Although Dugoni concluded his deanship in 2006, he continues to be involved with the school and the university as dean emeritus, professor of orthodontics and senior executive for development.

"My involvement with the university is special and unique," stated Dugoni. "I've had the opportunity to help build a dental school that is different than any other, one that is built on the premise that we are not only educating dentists but developing people. Our entire reason for existence is to create an environment which helps people reach their potential and more importantly, that their education provides them with a unique opportunity to serve their fellow man."

Dugoni's tenure at the dental school started in 1951 when he became assistant professor of operative dentistry. He has held several faculty positions, including professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics. He pioneered the primary and mixed dentition orthodontic clinic at the University of the Pacific in 1963 which continues to operate under the direction of his son, Dr. Steven A. Dugoni, associate professor in the Department of Orthodontics. He also maintained a private orthodontic practice in South San Francisco for nearly 40 years, until 1987.

Throughout his career, Dugoni has received countless awards and citations. He was elected to the prestigious FDI World Dental Federation List of Honour in 1998, which is limited to 30 individuals worldwide, and recently received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He has also received Distinguished Alumni Awards from four universities: Gonzaga University, University of Washington, University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific. Dugoni has presented more than 1,000 lectures, papers, clinics and essays and is the author of more than 175 published articles.

Quest for Excellence: The Arthur A. Dugoni Story was published in 2015. Written by San Francisco journalist and author Martin Brown, the extensive biography delves deep into Dugoni's personal background, family life and professional accomplishments. 

He resides in the Bay Area and has seven children, 15 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren with another one on the way.