Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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James N. Thiel, D.D.S., Dent ’64


James Thiel

Jim Thiel doesn’t describe himself as a scholar, but he knows a good educational environment when he sees one. “Marquette’s dental school set the tone for my life,” he says. “It gave me the tools to be successful.”

For Jim, success meant going on to earn his specialty of prosthodontics and master’s degree from Boston University Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, holding teaching positions and becoming deeply involved in organized dentistry.

In fact, Jim has served as chairman and executive officer of local and state dental societies, and just completed his 33rd year in leadership roles of the Yankee Dental Congress, from chairing the event, originating live television demonstrations and leading various committees.

For non-dentists, the Yankee Dental Congress is an annual convention where 30,000 people attend, more than 200 speak, conference-goers explore 950 exhibition booths and attend any of 125 social functions. It’s the fifth largest convention in the country and the largest of its kind in Boston. This year Jim chaired the team of 200 volunteers to oversee the convention’s move to a new location, the enormous Boston Convention Center.

In addition to his work with the Yankee Dental Congress, Jim serves leadership roles with the Massachusetts State Dental Society (and averaged two to three meetings a week with them this year).

And, yes, there are other dental-related organizations in which Jim remains involved, some international. And his service has earned him awards across the country. “When a person is recognized by one’s peers, it makes the efforts and time spent very much worthwhile,” he says.

Jim also enjoys hosting alumni receptions for Marquette’s School of Dentistry and Boston University’s dental school, maintains a private practice outside of Boston, and is a trustee of the Boston University Dental School.


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