Friday, June 27, marked an evening of special celebration for the UF College of Dentistry’s Hialeah Clinic, honoring graduates, alumni, faculty, staff, incoming students, and one special man who was a true champion of dental education in South Florida – Dr. Aquilas E. Mas.
Almost 200 people attended the banquet which honors the graduates of the Internationally Educated Dentists and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry programs and serves as a welcome for the incoming students and residents. Also recognized during the banquet were the clinic’s core faculty, and the courtesy faculty members who volunteer their expertise and time during the year to help train students and treat patients.
The evening ended with the presentation of a proclamation signed by Hialeah Mayor Julio Ronaina declaring June 27, 2008, as the UF College of Dentistry Hialeah Clinic Day.
But the most poignant part of the night was the tribute to the life and achievements of Dr. Aquiles Mas who passed away on February 12, 2008. Mas served as the advisory board chairman for the clinic, and as a faculty member, lecturer and true friend of the college.
In 2005, Mas was named the South Florida District Dental Association’s Dentist of the Year for his work to support, protect and shape the future of the dental profession in South Florida.
“He was highly active in the South Florida dental community, a tireless advocate of the dental profession,” Diehl said.
Diehl credited Mas, whose family also attended the celebration, for being one of the people who had a vision for the University of Florida to create a clinic in South Florida to treat patients and train dental professionals moving to South Florida from across the world, “After we opened in 1996, he maintained his passion and enthusiasm for the cause, helping secure funding and donating his time as a teacher and clinician. We miss him.”