Graduates celebrating earning their degree from the SIU SDM.EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD, conferred doctor of dental medicine (DMD) degrees upon 56 graduates of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) during their commencement ceremony held Saturday, June 3 at the First Community Arena at the Vadalabene Center on the Edwardsville campus.

“We are so impressed with what you have accomplished and how you have persevered during these challenging years,” said Saulius Drukteinis, DMD, MS, PhD, dean of SIU SDM during his opening remarks. “Through your strength, endurance, patience, kindness, service, intelligence, respectfulness and determination to finish what you started, despite every difficulty handed to you, it was you who impressed us.”

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Ken Rawson, DMD, SIU SDM Class of 2005 graduate and president of the Illinois State Dental Society, served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

“Your potential to do good is unlimited,” Rawson remarked. “You can make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many. We all share the obligation to protect and preserve our profession. We continue to build upon the foundation created by those who came before us. The generations that came before you are hopeful that you will become stewards of dentistry. We are willing to help you prepare for that task, and we look forward to seeing what you accomplish.”

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Andrew Hassler, DMD, was selected by his peers to offer remarks on behalf of the graduating class. He offered a timely and uplifting address.

A recording of the SIU SDM commencement ceremony livestream is posted at

SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students with the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.

Video: SIU SDM Commencement 2023.

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