In 1952, the South Carolina Dental Association sponsored a study of South Carolina's needs in dental education. The results indicated a growing need for a school of dentistry within the state and it was recommended that one be established as an integral unit of the Medical College of South Carolina. In 1953, the General Assembly of South Carolina passed an act authorizing the development of a school of dentistry as part of the Medical College of South Carolina, however it was not until the 1964 session that the legislature funded that 1953 authorization.
In May 1964, by action of the Board of Trustees of the Medical College, a dean was appointed for the school of dentistry. Within a short time, planning went forward on the new seven-story Basic Sciences/College of Dental Medicine Building. By using existing basic science facilities and temporary dental clinic facilities, it was possible to admit the first class of dental students on September 5, 1967. The new building was ready for occupancy in December 1970, and the first class of students graduated and received their D.M.D. degrees in June 1971.
This series of interviews were conducted by Brooke Fox, MUSC University Archivist, and Susan Hoffius, Curator, Waring Historical Library, in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the college. The collection consists of nine individual interviews recorded on a digital audio recorder between September 2011 and March 2012. Topics include the establishment of the College of Dental Medicine, the first dean Dr. John Buhler, early faculty and staff, the college’s relationship with the South Carolina Dental Association, classroom and clinical experiences, and dental education.