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Dental Class of June 1973 provides for future students

Feb. 18, 2012
Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

Dental Class of 1973

Four decades have come and gone since members of the Dental Class of June 1973 strolled across MUSC’s campus as students. 

Yet nearly all 18 living classmates get together each year “to share drinks, tell lies and look at old pictures,” as one of them, Dr. John Sherer of Chester, puts it. And two years ago the class decided it wanted to do a little more than that.

The group pooled money to establish the Dental Class of June 1973 Memorial Fund. The fund initially began with an idea to honor a beloved classmate, Dr. Randall Heffron, who died from cancer in 1994 at only 47 years old.

“For years and years he was the No. 1 tennis player at The Citadel,” Sherer remembered. “He was a great kid and had a winning smile. He was kind to everyone.”

Sherer remembered riding around downtown Charleston on old motorcycles with Heffron when they were young men in dental school. Sherer and other classmates received word of Heffron’s diagnosis just weeks before his death. 

“Our class got to talking about the fact that we’d all be going that way eventually,” Sherer said. “We decided that we’d like to leave something behind.”

Another classmate, Dr. Wayne Stewart, had died several years before Heffron, so the group decided to designate the contribution as simply a memorial fund. Each year during Dental Homecoming the group adds more to the Dental Class of June 1973 Memorial Fund, which now totals more than $60,000.

The gift makes it possible for the College of Dental Medicine to purchase equipment needed to attract students and faculty. Last year the fund grew large enough to become endowed, meaning it will serve as a permanent asset to the college.

The group plans to gather at Clinton dentist Dr. Daniel Hartley’s Charleston house during Homecoming Week, which begins Feb. 21. Phone calls and emails have kept Hartley and his classmates connected for the 40 years in between the annual gatherings.

“Two-thirds of the class will turn up,” Hartley said. “It’s been amazing how we keep together.”

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