Alumni/Donors Dental Hygiene Faculty

School announces creation of Dr. Dorothy G. Hard Legacy Professorship3 min read

May 7, 2021

School announces creation of Dr. Dorothy G. Hard Legacy Professorship3 min read

Dorothy Hard

Ann Arbor, Mich., May 7, 2021 – The School of Dentistry has announced the creation of a new professorship to honor Dr. Dorothy Hard, who built the school’s Dental Hygiene program into a national leader during her 45 years as director from 1924-68.

The establishment of the Dr. Dorothy G. Hard Legacy Professorship carries two distinctions: It is the first professorship to honor a dental hygiene faculty member and the first professorship to honor a female faculty member at the school.

The development of the professorship received approval of the school’s Executive Committee and the University of Michigan Board of Regents. It is based on the generous financial support of Dr. Robert W. Browne, a DDS alumnus from the Class of 1952 and graduate of the school’s orthodontic program.  

Robert Browne

“Dr. Browne has been a loyal donor to our school for more than half a century and made this new gift to honor Dorothy Hard, our school’s longest-serving director of the dental hygiene program and a faculty member who was impactful to him during his time as a student,” said Dean Laurie McCauley. “We plan to announce the first Hard Professor in the near future.”

McCauley said the timing of the professorship announcement is a fitting way to help the Dental Hygiene program celebrate it centennial this year. In 1921, Dental School Dean Marcus Ward started the program with an instructor and several students. He hired a Detroit dentist who was an alumnus of the school to lead Dental Hygiene for the next two years before hiring Hard in 1924. She was a 1922 DDS graduate who worked for two years as an industrial dentist in the Parke Davis laboratories in Detroit before returning to the dental school as an instructor and director of Dental Hygiene. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1935, to associate professor in 1944, and to professor in 1953. Under her guidance for more than four decades, the curriculum in dental hygiene grew to meet the many changing demands within the profession.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.