Feb. 27, 2010
CHARLESTON -- The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has re-named South Carolina’s only dental school as a lasting tribute to James B. Edwards, D.M.D., MUSC president emeritus. This dedication comes on the heels of opening the new clinical education center, located on Bee Street, to students and patients. Edwards has contributed much to South Carolina and the country in his long-standing career as a dedicated oral surgeon, state senator, governor, U.S. presidential cabinet member and MUSC president, and was honored by MUSC faculty, staff, students and dental medicine alumni during the school’s alumni weekend festivities.
"With the state's only dental school, MUSC plays a critical role in providing the dentists who serve all South Carolinians," said Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., MUSC president. "With the opening of the new building, our students are being taught in the most advanced facility of its kind in the country. The school also honors the legacy of Jim Edwards, who began his career as an oral surgeon and ended it by leading MUSC through a remarkable two decades of growth and development."
During Edwards’ tenure at MUSC, the university increased its campus size from 1.5 million square feet to 5 million square feet, strengthening every aspect of its three-part mission of education, patient care and scientific discovery in the process. During his 17-year tenure, Edwards and his wife, Ann, helped MUSC forge a national reputation for health care excellence, setting a pace for growth and progress that continues to build momentum today.
"His entire life stands as a testament to the values of integrity and service, which we hope to instill in each of our students," said Jack Sanders, D.M.D., James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine dean. "It is a privilege to rename the college in his honor. I want to emphasize that this new building would not have been possible without the support of hundreds of individuals, businesses and organizations who have brought us to this exciting point in history, especially the dentists and alumni who work and live in South Carolina. I cannot say enough to recognize and thank our faculty members. These are the people who, for 40 years, have done more with less and still produced some of the best dentists in the country. As I think about what they have done for so long and with so little, I can hardly begin to imagine the greatness they will achieve in a state-of-the-art learning environment, designed and built exclusively for dental education."
The College’s newest building includes 190 dental operatories, with each floor housing break-out seminar spaces for group instruction and resident study areas to provide convenient student spaces within the clinical environment. Special consideration was given to patient, student and faculty movement in the center, helping to provide a patient-focused environment with clear way-finding, while maintaining efficiency and functional circulation for students, faculty and staff. Patient-waiting areas are located at the east end of the building with dedicated departmental check-in areas and medical history kiosks. Five floors of the new building are dedicated clinical space for 11 departments including general dentistry, pediatric dentistry and oral surgery. For more information about the new building, visit http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/dentistry/pdfs/dental_building_revised_color.pdf.
Student Government Association President and dental student Sheldon Bates also acknowledged the school’s track record and how things are changing. "We are learning with new technologies and state-of-the-art equipment which will launch us, and future graduates, into a higher echelon of performance in the field of dentistry," he said. "As a student at this time in the development of the dental program here at MUSC, I can see a glimpse of where we have been and can begin to envision what the future of dentistry holds in the state of South Carolina. This is indeed an exciting time."
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu or www.muschealth.com.