Spring 2006 Table of Contents
Philanthropy in Dental Education
Why I Give: Dr. Alex Mikhailov

Dr. Alex Mikhailov, Class of 1988

“Because of NYU,” says Dr. Alex Mikhailov, a graduate of both the NYU College of Arts and Science (CAS) and its College of Dentistry, “I was able to fulfill my educational goals and succeed in my profession. I feel both an obligation and a desire to give something back in return for this opportunity.”

Born in the former Soviet Union in 1962, Dr. Mikhailov emigrated with his family from Russia in 1979. He graduated from CAS in 1984; earned his DDS degree in 1988; and has been a Clinical Assistant Professor at NYUCD since 1992.

“In the United States, because of a combination of freedom of religion and educational opportunity, my family and I have been able to become part of the fabric of society and to enjoy and participate in it in ways that would not be possible otherwise. This is why I support NYUCD; when I give to NYUCD, I feel that I’m not just giving money, I’m transferring opportunity.”

Dr. Mikhailov, who has dental practices in multiple locations, thinks it’s altogether appropriate for schools to look to successful graduates for support. So when Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch, Associate Dean for International Affairs and Development, invited Dr. Mikhailov to visit NYUCD several years ago to see how it was being transformed, he was moved to make a generous gift to promote student welfare. “There’s no substitute for giving,” he says. “Looking around at the learning environment that Dean Alfano was creating made me even more proud of having received an NYU dental education. I saw for myself the incredible changes occurring and I made the decision to be part of the new NYUCD culture that I saw emerging.” Dr. Mikhailov’s first gift was not his last.

“I think you have to decide for yourself whether supporting your alma mater is something you want to do. My feeling is that life gains meaning from the contributions a person makes. Along those lines, I look at my graduation from dental school as part of an ongoing process of contributing to society. Supporting NYUCD is part of the same process as contributing to the health and well being of my patients. It’s all interconnected, and it’s all part of my journey as a person and a health professional.”