- About Us
- Find A Board Certified Dentist
- Foundation of the COD
- Upcoming Events
- Members Only
|A Brief History of the College of Diplomates|
A Brief History of the College of Diplomates
In 1964, 15 years following the first examination given by the American Board of Pedodontics and with 118 pediatric dentists certified, the College of Diplomates was organized. The first breakfast meeting of the Diplomates was held September 1, 1964 in the Chase-Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. The first slate of officers was elected: President Norman Olsen, President-Elect Robert Andrews, Vice President Charles Boyers and Secretary Paul Starkey. The first annual breakfast meeting of the Association of Pedodontic Diplomates was held on November 4, 1965 in the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada at which time the Constitution and By-laws were approved.
History of "The Gavel"
It is a design as unique as the human dentition itself -- a presidents' gavel treasured by the College of Diplomates (COD) of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The gavel has not only become an integral part of COD history but a remembrance of past presidents. It memorializes their names and sparks recollections of their contributions to the College and the evolution of the practice of pediatric dentistry as a specialty.
The rap of the gavel has signaled a familiar opening and closing for most COD Annual Meetings since 1973, when Edward Hibbard, DDS was COD president. Dr. Hibbard was an Emory Dental School academician at the time. It was he who designed the original gavel in his down basement workshop and introduced it as an historical symbol. "The COD should have a gavel that is special with a place for the name of each individual who has the honor of serving as president,” he said. This tradition has continued ever since. Since 1990, a replica miniature gavel, hand crafted by Dr. Jerry Miller, has been presented to outgoing presidents of the COD as a memento of their service to the organization.
Its shape is unlike any traditional hammer-style gavel. It boasts multiple and unusual angles with plenty of room for inscriptions of past presidents' names. Fifty names have been engraved on the gavel as of 2015.
Those who have a chance to admire the gavel in person, agree that is a valuable artifact holding a special place in COD and pediatric dental history. To reflect on the fact that each of those great names in pediatric dentistry held the gavel as they led the COD has been described as inspiring and humbling -- and a proud tradition.
By Jerome B. Miller, DDS., MSD