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Marquette University Alumni Association

School of Dentistry Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus in Dentistry Award

Timothy O. WardTIMOTHY O. WARD, M.A., D.D.S., DENT '76
Kilmarnock, Va.

As a clinician, Timothy is driven by what he calls the noble mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs, having served as assistant undersecretary for health, in which capacity he was responsible for the oral health of more than 5 million veterans seeking medical care.

“As stated by President Lincoln, we are ‘to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.’ I feel privileged to be part of a larger organization that provides an important service,” he says.

Timothy has presented more than 100 lectures on managing the medically compromised dental patient and has been involved in the clinical and didactic education of dental and medical students, residents, and practicing clinicians. Additionally, he developed and implemented a two-year VA fellowship for physicians and Ph.D. scientists in war-related illnesses and injuries while in the VA Office of Academic Affiliations.

His short-term plans include finalizing a research project he began as a principal investigator in conjunction with the Department of Defense that will examine the outcomes of 160 veterans with cranial implants, fabricated by prosthodontists, after severe cranial trauma. It will be, to date, the largest outcomes study for that type of surgical care.

“I think, at the end of the day, if you can look back and feel you have made the world a little better place, you have done all right,” says Timothy, who is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. “Marquette instilled in me the importance of being professional and what it means to be part of a profession.”

Fun Facts

Community activities: “I am a volunteer grant writer for a local nonprofit museum. We are seeking funds to restore the pilothouse of the Potomac, the last steamboat to sail the Chesapeake Bay.”

Your favorite book: “Any book by Doris Kearns Goodwin; I think she is wonderful biographer.”

Name someone (past or present) with whom you'd like to have dinner: “My dad. I have so many questions to ask him.”

Marquette faculty or staff member who had an impact on you: “I was most influenced by the oral surgery faculty. I remember Drs. Erv Surwillo, Don Pricco and Web Herman as being very professional and knowledgeable."

When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up: “I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up!”

Who has been the most influential person in your life, and why? “My kids have played a very influential role in my life. Raising them has changed the person I have become. I still learn from them today.”