Though the school would not officially open for another three years, Dr. John E. Buhler was named dean of the School of Dentistry in May 1964. During the first couple of years, before the Basic Sciences-College of Dental Medicine Building opened in late 1970, students and faculty occupied existing basic science facilities and temporary dental clinics. Prior to being accepted at the state’s dental school, African Americans and women who were interested in dental education attended out-of-state schools. The majority of the state’s black dentists received their degrees from either Meharry College in Nashville, Tennessee or Howard University in Washington, D.C.

South Carolina’s women dentists were few and far between in the 19th and most of the 20th centuries, and the number of dental schools that accepted women was small. As MUSC’s program developed, the student body diversified with the addition of women and minority students. Dr. Cathy Moss was the first woman to graduate from the college in 1973 and Dr. George McTeer was the first African American graduate in 1974. By 2015 women constituted 51% of all dental students, and three percent of students were African American.


The College of Dental Medicine graduated its first class on June 3, 1971. Founding Dean John Buhler with the first graduating class.


Dean John Sanders and Dr. James B. Edwards pose with the class of 2010, the first graduating class since the renaming of the College after Dr. Edwards.

The Macaulay Dental Museum

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