[Penn Dental Medicine News] A bequest of $20 million is being made to Penn Dental Medicine in honor of an alumnus.

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love The Penn Dental Medicine alum Dr. Arthur E. Corby (D’1917) finished his dental training one hundred and four years ago, and now his philanthropic efforts will play a critical role in the School’s future. As of the end of 2020, the school has received an estate contribution from his daughter, Carol Corby-Waller (CW’58), in memory of her father. This was the first $10 million of a projected $20 million that would be donated. The majority of the donation is scheduled to be delivered to the School at some point later this year.  We thank Carol Corby-Waller for her generous decision to create a meaningful legacy in honor of her father by using her estate as the source of the donation, said Penn President Amy Gutmann. The generosity and vision she shows will enable Penn Dental Medicine, which champions innovation, to expand on its great history while experimenting with new ideas and opportunities in the future. As a result, we are affected by her desire to do good in the world while also paying honor to her father. “There are no understatements to be made about the extraordinary effect of this historic donation,” said Morton Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Mark S. Wolff, of Penn Dental Medicine. “Since a result, the contribution is highly effective for the school as there are no strings attached, meaning that the resources may fund several initiatives whenever necessary.”

Being an unrestricted donation, the monies will enable the school to take advantage of any business possibilities that may need funding. It arrives at a crucial moment, particularly for the implementation of new strategies. In addition to four new centers inaugurated within the Penn Dental Medicine network, The Center for Clinical and Translational Research; The Center for Innovation and Precision Dentistry; the Care Center for Persons with Disabilities; and the Center for Integrated Global Oral Health all opened recently. The money received from the Corby-Waller Foundation will aid with the steady expansion of these companies as required, and will serve as an additional source of funding.

Sole Carol Ann Corby-Waller, the only child of Dr. Arthur Corby, Penn Dental Medicine class of 1917, received a prize for distinguished contributions to dentistry. She was a Penn graduate as well, having obtained her undergraduate degree in 1958 from the College of Women (now known as the University of Pennsylvania). Even though she didn’t have any more interaction with the University after graduating, it is obvious that she wanted to honor her father’s deep interest in dentistry and the institution where he received his dental degree, and she was closely involved in his life throughout his lifespan.

Dentistry had been a humble profession up until World War I, when Arthur Corby enlisted in the Army Dental Corps. However, this did not halt his career or his success, as he created a large and respected dental office in New York City until his demise at the age of 65. In addition to having links to the University of Pennsylvania, he had strong affiliations with Penn throughout his career, notably being selected to serve on the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees for a 10-year tenure in 1948. He was a member of a tiny and distinguished group of recent graduates who received the Alumni Award of Merit from Penn for contributions to the university and its alumni. To list some of his accomplishments, Dr. Corby was involved in the re-organization of the General Alumni Society and was on the committee for the University’s Re-Organization Fund, as well as the Bicentennial Committee (1940). Dr. Corby also held leadership positions in the Penn Dental Alumni Society, serving as President (1948-49) and Editor of the Dental Alumni Quarterly. He also had a term as President of the University of Pennsylvania Club of New York.

Dr. Corby was very active in the world of dentistry, holding the positions of president of the New York Academy of Dentistry and the First District Dental Society of New York (1951), which included Manhattan and the Bronx. He was a fellow of the American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists, and was a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, and the Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity, serving as grand master of its Graduate Chapter in 1944. Dr. Corby also served as the Chairman of the Greater New York Dental Meeting, a conference dedicated to advancing the field of dentistry (1952). In that area, he set up a conference to discuss the links between smoking and lung cancer. That was a big success, since the Tobacco Industry Research Committee was founded as a result.

Dr. Corby’s class yearbook records significant academic and extra-curricular involvement when she was a student at Penn Dental Medicine. In his capacity as editor-in-chief of the Senior Class Record, he was a member of the Corresponding Secretary of the Matthew H. Cryer Society of Oral Surgery. He was also an active member of a number of fraternities and organizations, including Delta Sigma Delta, the Darby Dental Society, and the Penn Dental Journal Advisory Board.

It has just been announced that a newly rebuilt auditorium inside the School’s Levy building will be dedicated after Dr. Corby, guaranteeing that a major venue within Penn Dental Medicine will carry his name as a permanent memorial.

Dr. Arthur E. Corby from the Penn Dental Medicine class of 1917 yearbook. (Source: UPENN dental medicine)


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