Dr. George Ferry, '78 Dental Museum
Help the School of Dental Medicine celebrate it's rich history
and also the life and career of one of our own, Dr. George Ferry, '78
As Squire Hall continues to be transformed, plans are underway for completion of the new Stephanie and Joseph Mucha Patient Welcome Center. As part of that space we're pleased to announce the re-installation of the Dr. George Ferry Museum. Ferry originally established the first museum (the Centennial Museum) in 1991 as part of the school's Centennial celebration held in 1992. In 2012, the Centennial Museum was renamed in his honor, and he was extremely proud to see the new signage bearing his name. Dr. George Ferry passed away in August 2013.
George was the school's first curator of historical artifacts. He was perfect for this role as a history buff, staunch advocate for our industry and ardent supporter of the school. We ask for your help as we raise the funds required for a proper museum space which would serve as a fitting tribute to such an amazing man.
George Ferry, ’78, joined the faculty of the School of Dental Medicine in 1979 as a part-time clinical instructor in the dental team practice program in general clinical dentistry. Two years later, he took a full-time faculty position as assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry (Operative). He was promoted to the rank of clinical associate professor in 1991. His teaching focused on dental auxillary utilization, operative dentistry, preclinical technique courses and simulation.
The following was compiled by Robin Comeau for the UB Dentist.
When Dr. George Ferry, ‘78, retired in October 2010, and as I took on the dental museum’s curator responsibility, he mentioned that I would be faced with a huge challenge— cleaning and sorting out the museum storeroom. Dr. Ferry was faced with moving this surplus four times, and with the last move, all remained boxed—no detail, no order, no contents description. With an extra pair of hands over the summer, my goal was to finally get it done. I finished, ironically, two days before Dr. Ferry passed.
Like going through an attic for the first time, not knowing what to expect, each box was carefully opened and the contents sorted—and yes, there were some unexpected treasures:
• A box of lantern slides donated from the collection of Howard B. Beach, DDS 1906, with images of World War I facial war wounds and reconstruction techniques, including images of the dental infirmary of NYU.
• Cap, hood and gown donated by the wife of Dr. W. Hinson Jones, ’37, associate professor of operative dentistry and periodontology.
• Leather bound commencement announcements from 1915 and 1921.
• UB Bulletin College of Dentistry Catalogue for the session 1917-1918.
• A ledger from the mid-1880s: A silver filling was 25 cents; chloroform administration was $2.
• Removable partials— mostly gold—made by Ernest E. Schnitzspahn as a student. He graduated in 1902 summa cum laude with a 99.18 average.
• A tagboard sign: George W. Ferry, DDS, Dental Antiques: Treasures not Trash.
Last but not least, in the humor that Dr. Ferry may be best remembered for, was a box of Gnarly Teeth—nine different plastic dentures to be used for every occasion. As Dr. Ferry once said, he was the “Hysterical Curator.”
Dr. Ferry said the most rewarding part of his faculty service was his interaction with dental students. He retired with three yearbook dedications, three Alan Gross Excellence in Teaching awards, two Feagans Awards, several DSA teaching citations, and the 2010 UB Dental Alumni Association Honor Award. The William M. Feagans Award, which is presented by the Dental Student Association to a distinguished member of the faculty, staff or administration in honor of Feagans, dean of the School of Dental Medicine from 1970 to 1993. Like Feagans, Dr. Ferry has demonstrated to students, a concern that encompasses the finest aspects of academic dentistry, tempered with an appreciation of the demands of "real-life" dentistry and the inherent challenges of student life.