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Dental class of 2010 sets a record 96 percent participation during gift drive

Meghann Dombroski, D10, says there are 174 reasons why the Class of 2010 achieved an astonishing 96 percent participation with their class gift.

"Each student in our class made this possible," said Dombroski, class president, who spearheaded the drive with Milad Fadholi, DI10, international student class president. "This gift represents each member of our class–our unity and legacy. We have tried to make 'good karma' our motto. We wanted to not only give back, but also to help others in need - to 'pay it forward' for future students."

Recognizing this tremendous achievement, the gift will be matched by the Tufts University Dental Alumni Association and the Dean's Office.

The class dedicated the gift in honor of Mark Gonthier, associate dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, who they agreed epitomizes a critical bridge between students and staff. In that spirit, the gift will be split: half will be a scholarship to a Class of 2014 student (chosen by Gonthier), and half a gift to a staff member (chosen by Dean Norris), who exhibits the characteristics of Gonthier, including diligence to occupation, leadership, and community.

"I was touched to be recognized," said Gonthier. "I try my best each day to support the success of the student body, and am honored to be recognized for simply doing my job to the best of my ability."

Generosity seems to come naturally to the Class of 2010. In their sophomore and junior years, they had "adopted" a less fortunate family near the holidays. "We believe in giving," said Dombroski.

Dombroski's own enthusiasm and leadership persuaded more than a few classmates as well. At a Yankee Dental reception, for instance, she seized the opportunity to make a pitch for the class gift, saying she expected nothing less than 100 percent participation. She then held up her debit card: "I'll leave the room and make my donation right now," she announced. "Please join me!"

"It was pretty amazing," she said. "Sixty four students followed my example!" In the end, she said, the gift not only expresses gratitude and loyalty to the School of Dental Medicine, but also demonstrates how a "unified class banded together to make a positive difference in the life of a student at Tufts Dental."