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Profiles in Giving

Steven Rubin, D75

Steven Rubin, D75, was nearing the end of his third year of studies at the School of Dental Medicine, when his instructor called him one day and asked, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

Dr. Rubin doesn’t recall how he responded, but he does remember the instructor, Dr. Al Charney, who knew about Dr. Rubin’s interest in surgery, saying, “You’re going to Worcester.” He had arranged for Dr. Rubin to spend the day there with Dr. Peter Drob, D64, DG67, A91P, an oral surgeon.

“That’s the kind of place Tufts is,” Dr. Rubin says. “The faculty is supportive to a degree unheard of anywhere else. I followed that doctor around for the whole day, and it was that experience that convinced me I wanted to be an oral surgeon.”

But for Dr. Rubin it’s not just what he learned or the encouragement he received that resonates; it’s also the way he was taught to be a dental professional. “For me,” he says, “Tufts provided great instruction in the art and science of being a professional. It helped shape my perspective. It reinforced lessons my parents had taught me about the importance of community service and a level playing field.”

Already, Dr. Rubin had experienced the demands of adult life. He and his wife, Doris, met at age 18 at Clark University in Worcester, married at age 22, and very soon after had children. With those milestones behind him, what he needed was a positive attitude about the dental profession and a way to realize his career-related goals. Those things, he says, he got from Tufts. “The school gave me an avenue along which to direct my energies,” he explains.

The other great shaping force in his life was his parents, and that is why he and his wife have chosen to establish a prize fund named for them: the Jack and Anne Rubin, D75P Endowed Senior Prize Fund in Pediatric Dentistry. “My mother was a schoolteacher and my father a salesman,” he says. “They were modest people—but I left school debt-free. They wanted my sister and me to get excellent educations without any burden, and they worked hard to achieve that.” When he was going through his mother’s possessions when she entered a home hospice program, he explains, he found an envelope with the word “Tufts” written on it. Looking inside, he discovered that she’d saved the eight canceled checks she’d written for tuition to the dental school. “My Tufts education meant a lot to my parents,” he says. “I wanted to do something for the school and put their name on it.”

In addition to establishing the prize fund, Dr. Rubin is a member of the M Club Executive Committee, giving annually at a leadership level, and Dr. Rubin was a 30th and 35th Reunion co-chair for the D75 class and a steering committee member for the school during Beyond Boundaries: The Campaign for Tufts. “I am an oral surgeon today because of Tufts,” says the New York–based Rubin, “My only regret is that I’m not closer geographically. The dental school got me started, and I want to give back as much as I can.”