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School of Dentistry receives $5 million donation, largest in school’s history

Photo via Wire stock photos.
Dr. Paul Andrews, a 1974 alumnus of the School of Dentistry at Marquette, recently made a donation of $5 million to the school, the largest donation in the dental school’s history. Andrews' pledge will center primarily on veterans and their families.

Photo via Wire stock photos. Dr. Paul Andrews, a 1974 alumnus of the School of Dentistry at Marquette, recently made a donation of $5 million to the school, the largest donation in the dental school’s history. Andrews' pledge will center primarily on veterans and their families.

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Paul Andrews, a 1974 alumnus of the School of Dentistry, made a donation of $5 million to his alma mater. The donation stands as the largest donation in dental school history. 

Andrews, a native of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, said the pledge will center primarily on veterans and their families. Before he attended Marquette, Andrews was in the Navy for six years.

“The military was what really got me to Marquette,” Andrews said. “The dental school was what really opened up the world for me.”

Andrews said he believes getting into to dental school was the hardest part, and that it taught him resilience in the face of struggles.

“Dental school was not easy. I was able to take on everything that came my way because they taught me how to take it on,” Andrews said.

Sloane Abalos, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she has felt some of the same pressures in the dentistry track. She said knows she has to stay on top of all her classes to keep up.

“Despite the challenging classes, I like challenging myself and learning how to tackle the concepts,” Abalos said.

Since Marquette impacted his life positively, Andrews wanted to give back to the school. He said the scholarship he funds is really paying it back for him. “Whatever help I can give, I will,” Andrews said.

He also said he hopes others will see his donation, and want to help out.

David O’Neil is the director of development at the School of Dentistry. He said that according to the American Dental Association, students leaving dental school have around $250,000 in debt.

“We are always trying to find more ways to decrease that debt,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil said the $5 million is put into an endowment, and every year, 5 percent of that money can be used for scholarships each year. The university will not see the money until Andrews dies.

After O’Neil and Andrews talked about the terms of agreement, they realized there are not many veterans in the dental program. An agreement was made after the three tiers of preferences for students who are applicable for the scholarship.

“The first preference is students in dental school who are veterans,” O’Neil said.

If there is money left over, it will go toward a student who is a son or daughter of an active duty military or veteran. The third preference is for any students who exhibits great financial need.

O’Neil calls this scholarship life-changing. “You have a chance of getting your full tuition paid,” O’Neil said.

After Andrews graduated from Marquette, he became a Navy dentist for four years. While in the Navy, he grew as a professional.

“The big thing about being in the navy there was never any financial issue, you could do whatever needed to be done for a patient,” Andrews said.

The navy brought Andrews to where he is today. He still practices the profession he loves, now specializing in facial injuries. “I work for myself,” Andrews said. “I do work for a larger practice but as an independent person.”

Abalos is excited to pursue dentistry because she wants to help people feel more confident about themselves.

“I want to work with braces and help kids and adults embrace their smiles and make them more self-confident,”Abalos said.

Although the dentistry track is often challenging, Andrews’ gift will help others achieve their dreams. “Marquette taught me nothing was impossible in my profession. I could do whatever I wanted to do,” Andrews said.

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