Alumnus pledges $5 million gift to support scholarships for veterans and their families.
By Brian Dorrington
Celebrating his 20th year as dean of the School of Dentistry is no small thing. Dean William K. Lobb got to mark it in a truly big way, by announcing Dr. Paul Andrews’ pledge of a $5 million estate gift to the school. The gift, which will focus on scholarships for veterans and their families, is the largest gift received in the School of Dentistry’s history.
Andrews, Dent ’74, the eldest of five kids and son of a dairy farmer, says he “grew up milking cows and fixing tractor tires.” In a speech to 200 alumni, faculty, staff and students about what inspired him and his wife, Patricia, to make the transformational gift, Andrews recalled the day he took his dental aptitude test. “The first time I walked through those doors, I was scared to death,” he said of entering the School of Dentistry.
Four years later, Andrews felt much different. “When we first walked out of those doors, they opened up to the world. And we walked out as dentists ready to take it on,” he said.
Andrews, a Vietnam War veteran, served six years in the Navy before college. He was inspired to make this a pay-it-forward promise to honor his godson, who aspired to attend dental school but never had the chance — he was killed fighting in Afghanistan. Andrews also remembered eight members of his high school class who died in Vietnam.
Andrews said the university made him into the person he is today and that he owes all that he achieved in his professional career to Marquette’s dental school. He also credits the military, reflecting on the time he received a Navy scholarship. One of his goals, he said, is to reduce student debt and give others the same chance he had.
The evening became even more memorable when, in addition to this gift announcement, School of Dentistry alumni committed $50,000 to start a scholarship fund in Dean Lobb’s name.