Profiles in Giving
Robert Hunter, D.M.D., D63 and Connie Hunter
About the gift
As a former CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts, the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, Robert Hunter, D.M.D., D63, has met and worked with many dental school deans. "By far the best and most impressive leader," he says, is Lonnie Norris of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. That is why, when Hunter and his wife, Constance, decided to include a $500,000 gift to benefit the School of Dental Medicine in their estate plans, they did so in honor of Dean Norris. "We wanted to acknowledge his achievements and honor his tenure," says Hunter, a member of the school's Board of Overseers. "Dean Norris is a marvelous leader who has infused TUSDM with a strong sense of purpose. We're so proud of him and his contributions to the profession of dental medicine."
Hunter's distinguished career included 21 years in private practice in Norwood, Mass., where he prided himself on bringing pain-free care to his patients. As president and CEO of Delta Dental from 1988 to 2002, he saw the plan become one of the nation's largest providers and administrators of dental benefits. He went on to head DentaQuest Ventures, a for-profit subsidiary of Delta Dental, until his retirement in 2007. Hunter also served as a clinical instructor of prosthetics at Harvard University.
Norris is a tenured professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and has been a member of the Tufts faculty since 1980. Since becoming dean of TUSDM in 1995, he has overseen a period of remarkable achievement at the school, including the recent Vertical Expansion Initiative that added five stories and 95,000 square feet to the dental school's building at One Kneeland Street. Under Dean Norris's leadership, the dental school also has become a model for active citizenship, increasing access to care for underserved populations, promoting public health, and delivering high-quality health care to city schoolchildren, and the poor and disabled.
Regarding his generous donation to Tufts, Hunter says, "Connie and I share the philosophy that people need to share the gifts they've been given. We've both benefited greatly from our association with the School of Dental Medicine, and we're delighted to give back in a meaningful way."
"Bob and Connie's gift is a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the school," notes Dean Norris. "Given Bob's distinguished career accomplishments and unique perspective on our profession, his support is especially meaningful to Tufts and to me personally. I am very grateful for his support and I feel truly honored by his consideration."