Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) received the fifth, worldwide Tree of Peace in honor of Walter Guralnick, professor emeritus of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
The honor was bestowed at an official installation on the School’s campus on Monday, June 16, 2014.
This bronze sculpture symbolizes the pioneering partnership of medicine, dentistry and education, as well as the enduring desire to achieve peace within the global community.
The Tree of Peace at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, created by well-known French sculptor, painter and UNESCO Artist for Peace Hedva Ser, joins others that have been installed internationally, including at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine and Al-Quds University in Israel, and at the A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa, Ariz., and Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia.
“The sculpture not only honors Drs. Guralnick and Donoff for their service to the profession and to creating peace through oral health,” said Nancy Jones, associate dean for development and alumni relations, “It also commemorates the School’s student and faculty involvement in global programs designed to create collaboration and partnerships with schools around the world.”
The Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity and Allen Finkelstein, CEO of Bedford HealthCare Solutions, spearheaded the effort to bring a Tree of Peace to HSDM to honor Guralnick, who participated for decades in global dental health efforts, including many years serving with Project HOPE in China.
The Tree also honors the global oral health work of one of Guralnick's mentees, R. Bruce Donoff, dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, who has been involved in the Bridge to Peace Program for 10 years, as well as the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders, since its inception in 2011.
“It isn’t just the honor, it’s the privilege of having my name connected to the movement for peace,” said Guralnick.
The gift to HSDM was made possible by a group of private donors, including Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners.
Stanley Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc., spoke about the importance of the public-private partnerships with institutions of higher education.
Several deans of other dental schools were represented, including Musa Bajali, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Al-Quds University (Israel), Jack Dillenberg, dean, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Walter Cohen, former dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and Adam Stabholz, former dean, Hadassah School of Dental Medicine (Israel).
“The Tree of Peace represents optimism; optimism that the world can be a better place,” said Donoff.