Donor Stories

Faculty and Student in clinic together

Oral health professionals are the first line of defense against decay, disease and pain—and the State of Minnesota is counting on us to form the next generation of care providers, researchers and experts. We’re counting on you to help us pave the way for healthier and happier mouths. 

At the School of Dentistry, we aim to recruit and retain the best and brightest minds, from Minnesota and beyond. Scholarships play a critical role in our ability to attract prospective students and shape them into exceptional dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists who serve our communities. Scholarships help us remain competitive and encourage students to choose the University of Minnesota and make decisions about their future based on passion.

In the 2021-2022 academic year, you helped us award $1 million in scholarship packages. You’ve been generous in your support of our students with your time, talent and treasure: mentoring and teaching our students, sharing your story and funding key educational experiences. Now, we’re asking you to help shape the future of oral health care in Minnesota with a donation in support of scholarships. 

What is the impact of scholarship funding for our students? Emily Padilla, DDS ’25, shares her gratitude for scholarship donations

Emily Padilla

“As a recipient of the School of Dentistry Alumni Scholarship, I want to extend my gratitude for your generous contribution to my education. My journey in joining the field of dentistry as a first-generation college student has been filled with many uncertainties and difficulties. However, your gracious gift has allowed me to focus on the excitement of joining this wonderful field rather than dwelling on the financial stress associated with it. While I joined this field with the hopes of pursuing cosmetic dentistry, I am also passionate about increasing accessibility to quality oral health care in underserved communities. I look forward to continuing those efforts in my career and giving back to my community, just as you have done for me. You have my deepest appreciation.”

Scholarships have a direct impact on today’s students and tomorrow’s oral health care providers and professionals. What will you do to shape the future of oral health for Minnesotans?

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Mehrdad Hairani honors classmate with Daniel Alexander Allman Memorial Scholarship

Mehrdad Hairani, Robert Huot, Andrew Lau
(From left) Mehrdad Hairani, Andrew Lau, Daniel Allman

When Mehrdad Hairani, DDS, ’18, recalls his journey to becoming a dentist, he will always relate it to memories of his classmate and friend, Dan Allman, DDS, ’18. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s why Hairani established the Daniel Alexander Allman Memorial Scholarship to honor Allman, who died tragically in September 2020 at the age of 29 from a fall while camping in northern Minnesota. Read more.


Kathryn and Kurt Carlson give back through the Alumni Scholarship Fund

Kathryn and Kurt Carlson
Kathryn and Kurt Carlson

“I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to give back to the University of Minnesota’s premier School of Dentistry in the region in recognition of the comprehensive education I received,” said Dr. Carlson.  “Giving back is a responsibility my wife and I share, and it gives us pleasure to know that we, along with many of my 1980 DDS classmates, helped the school achieve a record day of giving!” Read more.