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Sanctae Crucis Award Recipients 1999

Kevin T. Avery D.M.D., ’65

In the early 1960s, while still a student at Holy Cross, Kevin Avery began visiting a Worcester reform school, spending time with the boys incarcerated there, counseling them and showing the kind of concern that has come to define his life. Kevin made those trips independent of any organized outreach program. Very simply, he saw a need and, quietly, with compassion and maturity beyond his years, began to address it.

To look at Kevin’s resume is to see a map of service, a definition of empathy. Following graduation from Holy Cross, he earned his doctor of dental medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1969, his master’s of public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1972, and his master’s in education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1978. Currently the assistant dean of student affairs and professor in the department of dental services administration at University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, Kevin has held, at one time or another, every major leadership position within the College. He has been called "a pioneer in the American Association of Dental Schools."

Over a 30-year career in dental education, Kevin has perpetually given of himself in a vast array of community service projects. He is the co-author of a grant that established the Native American Center of Excellence and is recognized as a national leader in programs serving Native Americans.

Kevin has worked tirelessly for the Head Start Program and the Job Corps Program. A long-time expert on, and advocate of, the dental health of migrant agricultural workers and their children, Kevin has been the project coordinator of the Health and Health Care Needs of Migrant Agricultural Workers Project.

In addition to these endeavors, he has also managed to edit a dental journal, develop innovative teaching techniques in his area of expertise, serve on the national board of dental examiners, publish 40 papers and articles, and cull over five million dollars in research grant funds, most of which were spent on health programs for the disadvantaged.

Kevin and his beloved wife, Geraldine, are the parents of Michael and Lauren. Kevin’s father, Leonard, is a member of the Holy Cross Class of 1935.

For truly living what it means to be a "man for others," for serving the needs of those who most need our help, for using his God-given talents to improve the lives of the less-fortunate, the College of the Holy Cross presents to Kevin T. Avery the Sanctae Crucis Award.