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James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine

The Kunkles

Dr. Kunkle

“We had professors who were more than just instructors, they were friends who cared.”

Like Father, Like Son…

Two Graduates Discover an Effortless Way to Join the Dental Legacy Society

When he recalls his dental school days, Dr. Terry Kunkle, Sr., Class of ‘71, remembers struggling with a fear of the unknown.  He was a member of the college’s first class, did not come from a family with strong financial means, and had young children. Although he thought he had saved enough to provide for his family, he ran out of funds during his second semester.  Fortunately, the college’s Dean found a scholarship that helped him continue and encouraged him to persevere.  “I received a lot more from the college than I ever paid in tuition.  We had professors who were more than just instructors, they were friends who cared.  Giving back to the school that gave me my profession was just the right thing to do.” 

His son, Dr. Terry Kunkle, II, Class of ’91, met his wife, Nadine, while she was in nursing school at MUSC and has fond memories of the challenging times during his education.  “The quality of my professors and fellow students was outstanding.  I felt strongly about giving back to MUSC and wanted to do my part to bring the college into the next century.”

Both alumni wanted to leave a significant amount to the college and found a simple way to accomplish their goals.  They had insurance plans well laid out for their families but each also had term life policies through the South Carolina Dental Association.  Making a gift to the college was as easy as making it a beneficiary.  Upon his retirement, Terry Kunkle, Sr., decided to convert the policy to whole life using an SCDA member benefits partner.  “I made the college owner of the policy, so now I receive a tax deduction for my premium payments.  Life insurance was really an effortless way for us back to our school.”

With their foresighted and generous gifts of life insurance, both father and son became member s of the Dental Legacy Society, an honorary group of individuals who have included the college in their estate plans.  They each named operatories in the Clinical Education Center and are listed in perpetuity on the college’s donor wall.  For more information about gifts of life insurance, please contact Stephanie Oberempt, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at (843) 792-6933 or