Family affair

Newest D.M.D. class arrives at Tufts

New dental students and their families tour the school’s Simulation Clinic during Family Welcome Day for the Class of 2009. © BRIAN LOEB

Parents and spouses, grandparents and newborns turned out to support the 157 members of the dental school’s Class of 2009 as they assembled for the first time for Family Welcome Day.

In Merritt Auditorium, Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow, recalling his first day of graduate school, gave voice to a concern all too common among new students: “I was absolutely convinced it was only a matter of time before I was discovered for the fraud that I actually was,” he said jokingly. The audience laughed. “I want to assure you, you are all here because you deserve to be. You’ve worked hard, and our admissions people never make mistakes.”

The 157 students have an impressive collective resume. Selected out of 2,322 applicants—a pool more than 27 percent larger than last year—the 81 men and 72 women achieved an average GPA of 3.34 as undergraduates. They hail from 33 states, Canada and Korea and represent 102 colleges and universities.

Bacow urged the incoming class to take care of their own physical, mental and social well-being during their rigorous training. He then extended a special welcome and congratulations to the family members present. “Few schools encourage the families to participate in an event like this,” he said. “Tufts thinks of itself as a large family.”

Dean Lonnie H. Norris assured the new students that “everyone here is dedicated to helping you reach your potential.”