Marc A. Gale Endowed Professorship
Marc A. Gale, D.M.D., first retired from the University of Florida College of Dentistry 10 years ago and hasn’t left since. Instead he has been back in various capacities since his retirement including serving as interim chair of the Department of Restorative Dental Sciences.
A venerable icon of the college, Gale is one of the few active faculty members at the university who can lay claim to building a program from the beginning. Gale, currently professor emeritus, began his storied career at UF in 1972 as an assistant professor in the UF Department of Operative Dentistry, just three years after completing his own degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.
Before relocating to Gainesville from Boston, he served in the U.S. Army Corps 31st Field Hospital in Thailand as a captain in the Dental Corps, with plans to complete an orthodontics residency and open his own practice in New York City.
However, when he contacted former Tufts professor and mentor David A. Grainger, D.M.D., seeking a reference, he instead received an invitation to join the faculty at UF’s new dentistry school.
When Gale stepped onto campus as a junior faculty member, he brought with him all the full force of his distinctive personality and trademark wit.
Current third-year dental student Latosha Harris was a student of Gale’s for pre-clinical courses, learning first-hand of his outspoken and caring demeanor.
“His personality is unparalleled,” Harris said. “When he’s in a room, you know he’s there.”
Her fellow dental student, Tommy Kwak, calls Gale a “mentor figure,” one whose presence he genuinely appreciated over the past year at UF.
“He was one of the first professors to encourage me in a way that made me realize how much UF College of Dentistry faculty care for their students,” Kwak said.
During his career, Gale has witnessed the transitions of eight university presidents and nine dental deans, and taught more than 2,000 students.
Scores of students who know Gale’s impact, directly or indirectly, share these sentiments. His ripple effect is felt by generations of faculty, staff and students who have worked alongside and studied under his leadership.
Without question, Gale’s legacy is forever cemented at the college, intensifying in measures as he continues impacting those around him.
Gale’s powerful legacy may soon extend further, as alumni and friends of UFCD are donating to create an endowed professorship in his honor. Faculty endowments are one of the most significant ways to honor the impact that a particular professor and mentor has had upon his or her students. The Marc A. Gale Professorship in Operative Dentistry, when fully funded, will be awarded to a faculty member providing leadership in operative dentistry, as Gale has done during his long career.