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Faculty member’s $50K gift supports speaker series at WVU School of Dentistry

Dr. Samuel Dorn and his wife, Lindy.

Dr. Samuel Dorn and his wife, Lindy. 

A faculty member’s $50,000 gift to the West Virginia University School of Dentistry aims to enhance oral healthcare education for students and alumni of the endodontics program.

The gift from Dr. Samuel Dorn and his wife, Lindy, establishes a namesake endowment to advance the work and mission of the School of Dentistry’s Department of Endodontics. The Dr. Samuel and Lindy Dorn Endodontic Endowment supports a lecture series that will bring expert speakers from around the world to WVU to discuss their achievements in the field with residents – dentists training to specialize in endodontics – and alumni of the program.

“We are incredibly appreciative of Dr. and Mrs. Dorn’s extremely generous contribution in support of our School of Dentistry, the Department of Endodontics and especially our students,” Dr. Stephen Pachuta, dean of the School of Dentistry, said. “This endowment will enhance educational opportunities and experiences for students in our predoctoral and postdoctoral programs. Sam and Lindy’s support of West Virginia University and the School of Dentistry in expanding access to recognized experts in endodontics from around the world is making a difference in the professional development of our students.”    

Dorn serves as chair of WVU’s Department of Endodontics, which has seen significant growth since he joined the School of Dentistry faculty five years ago. He recognizes the potential of the program’s top-notch residents and wants to share their greatness with the speakers.

“There is so much to learn in this specialty, and we can only teach them so much,” Dorn said. “Through meeting these speakers and getting to ask questions about their works, the residents and students will be getting a better education.” 

Dorn taught at universities in Florida and Texas before coming to WVU. He retired three times previously, but former WVU School of Dentistry Dean Tom Borgia persuaded him to return to teaching after just a few weeks of his most recent retirement.

As he considered ways to build the endodontics program at WVU, he knew it was often a challenge to attract good national and international speakers.

“When I was in Houston, I had people coming in from all over the world because it was a hub for several airlines,” Dorn said. “It doesn’t happen here in Morgantown, but I want to get those people to come here.”

After further discussion with his wife, the couple decided to make a gift to help bring the best speakers in the world to the University. Dorn hopes the resulting lectures give residents and alumni a different perspective of learning.

“Our residents have to read and know a lot of literature because everything in dentistry has to be evidence-based,” Dorn said. “It is easier to remember facts when you meet the people that are writing these articles.”

Dorn is a New York native who received his education at nearby Queens College, CUNY. His interest in meticulous tasks and making things look nice drew Dorn to endodontics, a specialty that involves treating pain, infections and diseases affecting the inner tooth. He continued his education at Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry and completed his residency at Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.

In addition to working in private practice, Dorn previously served in the U.S. Air Force Dental Corps.

Lindy Dorn is a retired marketing professional. She worked in the industry for 25 years, serving as vice president of marketing for a bank and product marketing manager for the logistics division of Ryder. The couple enjoys traveling, and they divide their time between homes in West Virginia, Texas and Florida.

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

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