"We have a lot to celebrate, " said Interim Dean Richard I. Vogel at the elegant evening he hosted at The Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan last fall in honor of Dr. George Witkin, Class of 1942, and his wife Ann. The event marked the official naming of the George and Ann Witkin Graduate Center for Clinical Excellence. The Witkins ’ $5 million gift to fund the Center is the largest ever alumni gift to NYUCD.
The Witkin Center reflects the belief that interaction and collaboration among the specialties is essential to the provision both of the finest specialty training and the finest patient care. To that end, the Witkin Center will bring together prosthodontists, periodontists, implant dentists and oral surgeons, all of whom will collaborate in the treatment of patients and the teaching of students. Groundbreaking for the first phase of the Witkin Center will begin this summer with one floor dedicated to periodontology and implant dentistry connected by an internal glass elevator to the floor above, which will focus on prosthodontic care.
Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch, Associate Dean for International Affairs and Development, worked with the Witkins to help shape their gift to fulfill their wishes. Dr. Hirsch paid personal tribute to Dr. Witkin, who was associated with NYUCD for over 30 years, as a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Periodontology, Associate Dean and Interim Dean.
"George was always able to engage students in a mutual learning dialogue and to create an atmosphere of shared responsibility, " said Dean Hirsch. " To George, students and faculty were partners in the learning process. He was able not only to inspire and engage us, but also to get our best performance. We simply did not want to fail our favorite teacher." Dean Hirsch also paid tribute to Mrs. Witkin, calling her "a smart, classy lady, whose vitality, creativity and sincerity make her a joy to be around."
"Together, " he said, " George and Ann form an exemplary couple; indeed, they are the most devoted, loving couple I know."
"Our appreciation for what George and Ann Witkin have done is boundless," said Dean Vogel. "They believe that NYUCD can set the standard for specialty training and care, and we will not disappoint them."