A Focus On Integrity
By: Rory Hume, DDS, PhD | Aug 20, 2018 8:00 PM
Rory Hume, DDS, PhD
We chose Integrity as the theme for our annual white coat ceremony at the School of Dentistry. It’s a theme that would always be appropriate for the occasion welcoming first-year students into the profession. Integrity is central to our mission throughout University of Utah Health. After fifty students received white coats, as a group they pledged to honor trust placed in them by those who “rely on my skills and integrity for care, understanding, and compassion.”
An argument could be made that a focus on integrity has added significance right now. Our keynote speaker this year was Gregory A. Prince, DDS, PhD, an accomplished researcher in dentistry for many years based at the National Institutes for Health. Prince told students, families, and faculty, “Integrity seems to be under assault.” Truth is closely associated with integrity and truth does not seem to matter as much as it has, he noted. “But truth does matter. Integrity does count.” Integrity means having strong moral principles. It’s a personal choice to hold one's self to consistent high standards. Dr. Prince counseled, “You can’t just decide you have it. It must be earned at a deep personal level.”
Counsel From Upperclassmen
Students representing the School’s higher classes spoke and offered advice to the new class. On the theme of integrity, Adam Hine, class of 2020 told the first-years their values will set the foundation for not only four years of study ahead but also for their entire career and life. “My hope for you is that you’ll be able to say, “I’m a better person than I was when I got here.” Tate Trujillo, 2019, advised, “Your integrity should be interwoven into everything you do.” Andrew Horton, class of 2021, urged the first-years, “Protect your integrity and also the integrity of your class.”
The class of 2022 is the School of Dentistry’s sixth entering class. Among 50 class members, 26 colleges and universities are represented. Twenty-three class members speak a foreign language fluently, representing 18 different languages. Five of the 50 hold a master’s degree and one is finishing a PhD in chemistry. Among the students 33 are the first dental professionals in their family. Some are their family’s first college graduate.
The class has 28 males and 22 females. The average age is 24. Thirty hail from Utah and 20 from other states. More than half come from a rural background. We are delighted with the student racial and ethnic diversity of our incoming class—with 28 percent coming from groups underrepresented in dentistry—including students from African, Asian, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander communities. We celebrate this achievement and look forward to preparing all of our students to serve those communities where the disparities in dental care are the greatest.
The class includes artists who paint, do ceramic art, and design. It includes an aviation mechanic in the U.S. Navy, a break-away calf roper who has appeared in rodeos. It includes musicians, mountain climbers, a triathlete, and an actress for Disney Studios in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Go forth class of 2022 with all the amazing attributes you’re brining to our School. Go forth with integrity.
Rory Hume, DDS, PhD
Guest blogger Rory Hume is Dean of the School of Dentistry and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Education.