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WVU School of Dentistry scholarship carries on philanthropic tradition in honor of late alumnus

The Howards understand the importance of giving back, which is why they have established three scholarships to help students in the WVU School of Dentistry.

The Howards understand the importance of giving back, which is why they have established three scholarships to help students in the WVU School of Dentistry.

Dentistry students at West Virginia University will benefit from a generous gift made in honor of a late alumnus who launched a family legacy at the School of Dentistry.

The recently completed Dr. Richard L. & Dr. Edward E. Howard Dentistry Scholarship will advance the work and mission of the School of Dentistry at WVU. The scholarship will be awarded to a fourth year Doctor of Dental Surgery student who demonstrates “exceptional clinical aptitude” in fixed prosthodontics and implantology.

Established by Edward Howard, the scholarship honors his late brother, Richard, who earned his DDS degree from the WVU School of Dentistry in 1967 and inspired generations of family members to follow in his footsteps. Richard opened his own dental practice in Charleston, West Virginia, and was later joined by Edward, a 1974 School of Dentistry graduate. Together, they founded Howard and Howard Dental.  

Dr. Richard Howard, late WVU School of Dentistry alum

“Richard went to dental school and, unbeknownst to him, he would become so passionate about [dentistry],” Edward said. “Then I followed up behind him, and it was just a normal order of events for me to follow in his footsteps. When I saw my brother open his own practice, the opportunity for us to practice together was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. My sister Margaret also came back when she graduated and worked with us.”

Margaret H. Teeter graduated from the WVU School of Dentistry with a degree in dental hygiene in 1972. In the next generation, their nephew, Dr. Matthew D. Stump graduated from the DDS program in 2011 and completed his Periodontal and Dental Implant Surgery residency at WVU in 2012. His sister, Dr. Jacqueline H. Stump, earned her DDS degree in 2012, for a total of five School of Dentistry graduates in the family.

The Howards understand the importance of giving back, which is why they have established three scholarships to help students in the WVU School of Dentistry. Siblings Richard, Edward and Margaret established the Sabe Isaac & Rose Mary Howard Memorial Scholarship in 1992 in memory of their parents. Margaret also established a namesake scholarship in 2019 that alternates between DDS and dental hygiene students. 

“The motivation behind this [latest] scholarship is to show our commitment to the School of Dentistry and WVU, so that future generations can receive the education that many of us did at the school,” Matthew Stump said. “Dr. Richard L. Howard was proud of his profession as a dentist and proud of the education he received at the WVU School of Dentistry. It is also a way for us to memorialize Dr. Richard’s passing while showing support at the same time.” 

Richard Howard died July 28, 2020, at the age of 78. In his memory, family members wanted to pay tribute to the school that did so much for their family and to help train future dentists by alleviating some of the stress of dental school. Jacqueline Stump said it would be hard to find someone who loves dentistry as much as her late uncle did. 

“Richard was a great representation of top-quality dentistry,” Margaret Teeter said. “Richard was very innovative, and he did everything he could to provide the best quality of care to his patients.” 

School of Dentistry Interim Dean Fotinos Panagakos appreciates the Howard family’s continued support.

“I’m grateful that Dr. Richard Howard shared his passion for this profession with his family to establish an enduring legacy at the School of Dentistry,” Panagakos said. “This scholarship gift, along with the family’s other generous contributions, will help carry on Richard’s tradition of excellence in dentistry for decades to come.”

The Howard scholarship gift is timely, as many students and their families are struggling to afford tuition due to the challenges of COVID-19. The We Are Stronger Together scholarship initiative, launched by the WVU Foundation, provides help to WVU students affected by the pandemic. 

To make a gift to the WVU School of Dentistry, visit give.wvu.edu/dentistry, or contact Director of Development Karen Coombs at 304-216-3784 or kcoombs@wvuf.org

The Howard scholarship gift was made through the Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

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