TEAMS Faculty Profiles: Wendell Willis, D.D.S.

Wendell Willis, D.D.S.Wendell Willis, D.D.S., is close to being a Gainesville native, having moved here when he was only six. He earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1962 and his D.D.S. from the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry in Richmond in 1966. From there he served in the U.S. Army for several years before moving into private practice, first in Richmond and then here in Gainesville.

Willis joined the college in 1977 as a visiting professor of Operative Dentistry, and has served as an assistant clinical professor in Periodontics and Prosthodontics. In August he takes over as one of ten team leaders for the new clinical model.

Where were you born?
Tifton, Georgia

What made you decide to go into dentistry or into your current field?
I chose dentistry over law because I was terrified of public speaking. Fortunately it turned out to be the right choice.

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of having the privilege of becoming a teacher.

If you could live anywhere on earth where would you choose to live?
Gainesville has been my home since the age of six. I attended Kirby Smith, Gainesville High School and the University of Florida and practiced dentistry here for many years. After traveling all over the world, Gainesville is still where I want to live.

How do you most like to spend your free time?
I enjoy working on my ranch and I love to spend time with my grandchildren.

What was the last book you read?
George Washington’s War by Robert Leckie. America would be a very different place without his leadership.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I would like to have some musical ability.

What is your motto?
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” –Mark Twain