School of Dentistry Award Recipients
Outstanding Dental Service Award
WILLIAM H. OLIN, D.D.S., DENT '47
Iowa City, Iowa
For more than 60 years, Dr. Bill Olin has blended considerable dentistry skills with a deep-seated commitment to serve others. Through his professional and personal calling, he has helped numerous children and adults suffering with facial deformities in the United States and abroad. “To see the improvements plus the smile on their faces,” Bill says, “is very rewarding.”
After earning his dentistry degree at Marquette, Bill received a master of science and certificate in orthodontics from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. In 1948, he began a distinguished 44-year career at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, establishing the Division of Craniofacial Anomalies and gaining an international reputation for his expertise.
Bill was president of several professional organizations and heavily involved with charitable organizations during his career and, after he retired in 1992, devoted even more time to philanthropic work. Through Operation Smile and others, Bill traveled worldwide to correct children's dental, cleft palate and lip anomalies. He helped organize the Rotary Club's Project MOST — Miles of Smiles Team — to connect dental experts with the poor in developing countries such as Guatemala and led the fundraising drive to bring an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge to Iowa City. At age 87, he has no plans to slow down and will continue to serve at home and abroad.
Bill has been recognized often for his charitable efforts, including receiving the 2007 Ben Franklin Award on National Philanthropy Day from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Also, in 2009, the University of Iowa Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award for his commendable service to the nation, community and University of Iowa family.
Fun fact: Bill still volunteers for a University of Iowa program he founded that protects Iowa City-area student-athletes from dental injury.