Harvard School of Dental Medicine Receives 5th Worldwide Tree of Peace
Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) received the 5th worldwide Tree of Peace in honor of Dr. Walter C. Guralnick, Professor Emeritus of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine at an official installation on the School’s campus on Monday, June 16, 2014. This bronze sculpture symbolizes the pioneering partnership of medicine, dentistry, and education, as well as the enduring desire to achieve peace within the global community.
The Tree of Peace at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, created by well-known French sculptor, painter and UNESCO Artist for Peace Hedva Ser, joins others installed, including the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine (Israel), Al-Quds University (Palestine), A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa, Arizona and Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA.
“The sculpture not only honors Drs. Guralnick and Donoff for their service to the profession and to creating peace through oral health,” said Nancy L. Jones, Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, “it also commemorates the School’s student and faculty involvement in global programs designed to create collaboration and partnerships with schools around the world.”
The Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity and Dr. Allen Finkelstein, CEO of Bedford HealthCare Solutions spearheaded the effort to bring a Tree of Peace to HSDM to honor Dr. Guralnick, who participated for decades in global dental health efforts, including many years serving with Project HOPE in China. The Tree also honors the global oral health work of a mentee of Dr. Guralnick, Dr. Bruce Donoff, Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, who has been involved in the Bridge to Peace Program for 10 years as well as the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders since its inception in 2011.
“It isn’t just the honor, it’s the privilege of having my name connected to the movement for peace,” said Dr. Guralnick, while also reflecting on the contributions to peace made by Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
The gift to the Harvard School of Dental Medicine was made possible by a group of private donors including Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. Mr. Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc., spoke about the importance of the public-private partnerships with institutions of higher education. Several Deans of other dental schools were represented, including Dr. Musa Bajali, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Al-Quds University (Palestinel), Dr. Jack Dillenberg, Dean, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (Mesa, AZ), Dr. Walter Cohen, Former Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (Philadelphia, PA) and Dr. Adam Stabholz, Former Dean, Hadassah School of Dental Medicine (Israel).
“The Tree of Peace represents optimism; optimism that the world can be a better place,” said Dr. Donoff.