Colgate-Palmolive, Harvard School of Dental Medicine Establish Scholarship to Support Underrepresented Minority Dental Students
Colgate-Palmolive Company and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) today announced a major gift that will initiate the endowed Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship, which supports students from underrepresented, minority groups to pursue their Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
The Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship pays tribute to prominent African American figures in HSDM's history: Robert Tanner Freeman, George Franklin Grant, and Dolores Mercedes Franklin. Freeman in 1869 was the first African American in the United States to graduate from a dental school; Grant became the first African American faculty member of Harvard University as well as the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1884. Franklin was the first African American woman to graduate from HSDM.
Colgate’s contribution of $210,000 has enabled the scholarship's activation. The first scholarship will be awarded to a student beginning in the 2021 academic year and continue on an annual basis, helping HSDM to admit the best and brightest students regardless of their financial means.
“Increasing diversity among the dental profession is critical to our goal of realizing a cavity-free future for all,” said Noel Wallace, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive. “With a brand that is in more homes than any other, Colgate understands our opportunity - and responsibility - to make oral health more equitable and accessible around the world. From the products we develop to our longstanding Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures community program to scholarships like this, we are determined to build a healthier and brighter future for people everywhere.”
Despite representing more than one-third of the U.S. population, Black and Hispanic dentists and those who identify as another race or ethnicity only represent a combined nine percent of professionals in the industry, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
“The Harvard School of Dental Medicine has a long legacy of embracing diversity. Colgate's generous support will help further our ethos to promote greater diversity, inclusion and belonging in dental education and in oral health research,” said William Giannobile, Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. “It enables us to take another important step toward providing the much needed financial resources for our under-represented students to pursue their dreams in oral healthcare delivery.”