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January 19, 2016

Namesakes - Thomas J. Hill Distinguished Professorship of Physical Biology

Thomas J. Hill

Scientist, teacher, author, and practitioner, Thomas J. Hill’s association with the university spanned fifty years. Thomas J. Hill enrolled in the Western Reserve University School of Dentistry (now School of Dental Medicine) in 1905, graduating in 1908. He was a Demonstrator in the Dental School beginning in 1909, joining the faculty in 1918 as Instructor. He was promoted through the ranks, to Professor of Oral Pathology and Therapeutics in 1928. He retired in 1955 as Professor Emeritus. He also served on the School of Medicine Pathology faculty from 1928-1955.

Dr. Hill authored nearly 100 scholarly articles and a textbook, Oral Pathology and was a leading advocate of flouridated water. He worked tirelessly to improve dentistry research and teaching, serving as Chairman of the American Dental Association Council on Dental Therapeutics and President of the International Association of Dental Research. His service continued after retirement. Dr. Hill visited every U.S. dental school to review its research facilities on behalf of the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1962 he was sent to Russia by the U.S. State Department to visit medical and scientific institutions.

His many honors included the Callahan Award, presented in 1950 by the Ohio State Dental Association and the honorary D.Sc., presented by Western Reserve University in 1960. In 1954 Hill was named an honorary member of the American Dental Association, only the eleventh person to have been so honored at that time. Hill was named a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Oral Pathology. At home, the Dental School Class of 1944 dedicated their yearbook, Odontoblast, to him. Summarizing the sentiments of many, the WRU Dental School Alumni Association in 1956 said of Dr. Hill, “In his capacity as an inspirational teacher for 39 years in the School of Dentistry he has earned the high esteem and respect of all who were under his guidance. As a scientist, educator and author he has contributed greatly to the welfare of humanity.”

In January 1965 WRU President Millis reported to the Board of Trustees that the Alumni Association of the School of Dentistry had agreed to support a Distinguished Professorship to be known as the Thomas J. Hill Distinguished Professorship of Physical Biology.

Hill Professors and the dates they held the professorship are:
David B. Scott, 1965-1975
Donald H. Enlow, 1977-1989

Posted by jmt3 at January 19, 2016 01:43 PM

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