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Director of Development, UI College of Dentistry
UI Foundation
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305

Release: March 9, 2000

$2 million gift creates first endowed chair in College of Dentistry

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $2 million estate gift from the late B. F. "Tod" Dewel, a 1925 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and a pioneer in orthodontics, will help bring healthy smiles to the faces of children and adults receiving treatment at the UI College of Dentistry's department of orthodontics. The bequest, directed to the University of Iowa Foundation, will create the B. F. and Helen E. Dewel Chair in Clinical Orthodontics.

"Dr. Dewel's gift will create the first endowed faculty chair in the UI College of Dentistry, and we are very grateful for his vision," said David C. Johnsen, dean of the college. "He was very proud of the national reputation held by our department of orthodontics, and his generosity will provide vital resources to further enhance teaching and research activities."

When the estate is fully settled, the Dewels' $2 million gift will be invested through the UI Foundation. Earnings from the endowment will be used to support the activities of the named recipient and enhance academic programs in orthodontics at Iowa. Johnsen said that a prominent faculty member will be named to the B.F. and Helen E. Dewel Chair in Orthodontics after criteria have been developed to aid in the selection process.

After earning his D.D.S. degree in 1925, Dewel taught in the UI department of orthodontics, then in 1929 he moved to Evanston, Ill., to open a private practice. He was one of the first dentists in the U.S. to use guided extractions of teeth in younger children to prevent the need for braces later in life. Dewel published more than 60 clinical research articles and lectured throughout the world. He was an active member of numerous local, state and international professional organizations. He was honored by the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1973, and in 1997 became the only American to be honored by the World Federation of Orthodontists for his life's work. Dewel received the UI Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987.

Tod and Helen Dewel lived in Evanston, Ill., for most of their lives, and Dewel taught part time at Northwestern University Dental School. Helen Dewel died in 1984. Until his death in October 1999 at age 97, Dewel frequently visited with UI Foundation staff and faculty members at the UI College of Dentistry, particularly Dr. John Casko, professor and head of the department of orthodontics.

"Dr. Dewel was a quiet, humble man whose great intellect allowed him to recall minute details as well as have tremendous vision," said UI Foundation president Michael J. New. "He cared deeply about the University of Iowa and the dental profession. He viewed this bequest as a way of ensuring future excellence in orthodontic education at Iowa."

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.