Celebrating the “First 100”

As Black History Month comes to a close, I’m especially proud to announce an upcoming celebration of accomplishments, achievements and trailblazing.

The “First 100 Dentists of Color” Celebration Brunch on Saturday, April 27, at Richmond’s Black History Museum and Cultural Center, recognizes Erma Freeman (D.D.S.’77), the school’s first black female graduate.

And because several of our “First 100” are paving the way for the “Next 100” through scholarships for students who are members of the VCU Chapter of the Student National Dental Association, we’ll be celebrating their efforts at this special event.

Attendees will hear from Darriel Cannon, the school’s first African American class president, who will share his experiences and vision for the future of African Americans in the oral health profession. His Class of 2019 peers elected him president all four years of their time in dental school.

Through his consistent commitment to community service, access to oral health care, and leadership, Darriel is a source of pride for all of us and we wish him great success as he enters the oral surgery residency program at UCLA this fall.

For more information about the “First 100 Dentists of Color” Celebration Brunch and the “First 100 Dentists of Color” initiative, get in touch with Barbara Payton at (804) 827-1537 or bpayton@vcu.edu. As Director of Development for Major Gifts in our Advancement Office, Barbara can share the rich history of the initiative and how it came to be a major driver in our efforts to provide scholarships, mentorship and fellowship for the “Next 100” and beyond.

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